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June 01, 2004
Employers Deal Payroll Cards

A growing number of companies are offering employees their wages and commissions in plastic, the Associated Press reports.

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The companies are depositing employee wages and incentives on MasterCard and Visa stored-value cards that allow employees to use the cards like they would bank cards with the two credit companies' logos.

Since 2001, more than 1,000 companies have begun offering employees Visa Payroll cards, the news service reports.

Employers say they offer the cards to reduce costs and as a convenience for workers, especially those who lack a bank account.

"Certainly most organizations are trying to be cost-effective and meet the needs of employees," says Vandra Huber, a professor at the University of Washington's School of Business Administration.

Companies say the payroll cards are an attractive option for younger workers.

"A lot of our employees are young," says Maria Wagner, payroll manager at EB Games. "We wanted to reduce our number of checks we generate. We wanted to increase our direct deposit number."

In addition, car makers, including Chevrolet and Isuzu, have begun to use the cards to pay salespeople's incentives, the news service reports.

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