More companies are offering their employees the option to receive their salary via payroll debit cards (also called pay cards) instead of paper checks. These debit cards can be used at ATMs and banks and can also be used to make purchases and pay bills online. Employers note that it’s cheaper for them to electronically transfer funds to a card than it is to purchase, process and distribute checks. However, this cost-cutting measure does come with a price for some employees. Employees without a bank account (the pay cards were originally designed with them in mind) are hit with fees when they withdraw funds from an ATM. They might also be hit with fees when paying bills online. There’s also the possibility that employees with pay cards will abuse them, since consumers who pay with plastic tend to spend more.
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