Overview: Paycards, or payroll cards, are a fast growing method of paying wages to employees using electronic means. They are a good alternative for employees who do not, or cannot, have a bank account that is capable of receiving direct deposits. Approximately 10% of US employees fall into this category, with the greatest number of them working in industries such as hospitality, food service and agriculture.
Federal paycard laws and regulations generally mirror direct deposit laws. Employers' paycard accounts must meet the same legal requirements as direct deposit accounts. An increasing number of states have passed a paycard law, and there is much variation among these laws. Employers must comply with all applicable federal and state laws pertaining to paycards.
Trends: Employers should check the laws of the states in which they pay employees for variations from federal law. Depending on the state, a number of additional restrictions or guidelines may apply. The following are some examples:
Author: Rena Pirsos, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to include expanded unclaimed wages requirements, effective February 2, 2017.
Updated to include forthcoming final paycard regulations issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Updated to reflect the forthcoming earned paid sick time law.
Under final regulations issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) pertaining to prepaid debit and credit cards, employers that pay wages using paycards will be required to provide employees with additional disclosures as of October 1, 2017.
Pennsylvania employers will be permitted to pay employees' wages, salaries, commissions or other payments by payroll debit card under a new law taking effect May 5, 2017.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding electronic paycards.