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Pay Card Etiquette for Employee Buy-In

July 19, 2017 | posted by Abacus Payroll
Pay Cards for Employees Payroll and Paperless Pay checks

At face value, using a pay card for paperless payroll seems like a no-brainer for both employers and employees alike.

However, implementing a pay card system is not without its drawbacks. Before you dive head first into a potentially exclusive system, here’s what you need to know about pay card etiquette.

Pay Cards: Consider Your Employees

One of the first things you should do when deciding whether a pay card is in your company’s best interests is to examine your employee base. How many of them use direct deposit, and how many cash their checks outright? Cutting back on paper checks is often a cost-effective measure, but if only a small percentage of your employees show interest in a pay card system, your savings may prove to be negligible.

Your employees’ comfort level is another factor to consider. If your workforce contains many older, more traditional employees, they may not show interest in switching to an unfamiliar payroll system. If this is the case, you must consider the overall worth of using pay cards that will only benefit a fraction of your workforce.

Carefully Look at Pay Card Restrictions

Perhaps the quickest ways to botch a pay card system is by selecting a card with strict ATM fees. Not only does such a card alienate employees who don’t have traditional checking accounts but it also opens your business up for scrutiny; employees can make the case that you aren’t paying them their full wages, at which point you may have a disgruntled staff, union involvement, and legal repercussions.

Instead of risking employee alienation, err on the side of an all-inclusive card that allows for at least one fee-free withdrawal per pay period. If this is an impossible task in your area, perhaps using a pay card system isn’t in your best interests.

Review Your State’s Legislature

The main reason that you must take your employees’ wishes into account is because you cannot legally implement a full shift from traditional paper checks to pay cards; you have to be able to provide an alternative, be it paper checks or direct deposit.

In addition to the above, over 20 states have pay card-specific legislature that may affect the conditions for use. For example, New Jersey requires you to provide a formal training on pay card use and withdrawal ramifications, including how they can withdraw money from ATMs without a fee. Similarly, you’ll also need to make your employees aware of any hidden fees and features entailed in pay card use.
Naturally, you cannot coerce, threaten, or otherwise manipulate your employees into accepting pay cards as a form of compensation. In most states, you must obtain written consent before you can use a pay card, and you have to provide a statement—either written or digital—that shows the pay period’s deductions.

Pros and Cons of Pay Cards


Want Plastic over Paper? Contact an Abacus Payroll Specialist for more details on adding Pay Cards to your payroll mix.

At Abacus Payroll, we understand that your employees’ best interests are your primary concern. For more information on implementing a pay card program that’s right for them, call us at (856) 667-6225 today!

About the Author: Abacus Payroll

Abacus Payroll, Inc. is a leading provider of payroll solutions for businesses of all sizes. Whether yours is a family-owned small business or a national corporation, we provide payroll, tax and other financial services on time and at an affordable price. Unlike other payroll providers, Abacus Payroll will assign your very own payroll specialist who will understand your payroll needs inside and out. So no more speaking to a different person each time, no more sitting on hold for hours and most importantly no more missed deadlines! Contact us today to see how we can help your business. You can count on us.