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Direct Deposit vs Payroll Card: Pros and Cons

Direct Deposit vs Payroll Card: Pros and Cons

Running a business in this customer-centric world of ours is by no means simple, especially when brands consider the fact that their customers are also the creators of their reputation and success. However, what too many businesses fail to include in their strategies is a more employee-centric mindset. After all, they are your brand ambassadors, and perhaps even your trusted customers. Knowing that, we’ve also entered the era of making employees as happy as they can be, so that we can prevent those high turnover rates, empower retention and loyalty, and inspire people to be true to their needs.

One particularly sensitive aspect of running an employee-centric business includes handing out their salaries. With tech-driven solutions available, and increased security measures in place, there’s no reason for companies to postpone transferring to more advanced payroll solutions. In the spirit of fair play, let’s compare and contrast the traditional direct deposit system with a modern payroll card, and how your business can select the solution that will benefit your employees the most.

The Convenience Factor

It all depends on your point of view. For years now, direct deposits have been considered the most convenient way to pay employees. Unlike written checks, each employee has their own bank account, and you simply transfer the funds when the time is right. There might be some delays, but most banking systems are advanced enough to handle these transactions relatively seamlessly.

On the other end of the spectrum, cards grant you a new level of convenience, since your employees no longer have to have a personal bank account at all. That way, if your employees would like to continue enjoying such freedom, you can definitely offer them the card option as something that is more in line with their preferences and provides a convenient way to pay them for their work.

Reducing Expenses

One of the key concerns for most employees as well as employers is, of course, the money required to manage the payroll department and the process of paying employees. On one hand, your employees don’t want to be forced to pay exorbitant bank fees for opening up their bank accounts or maintaining them, for that matter. This is where a convenient payroll card is superior to direct deposits, since your business will eliminate those extraneous expenses for your employees.

Fees are considered a mandatory part of the payroll process, but cards help modern-day companies reduce these fees, if not eliminate them entirely. Yes, you as the employer might need to cover a small fee per transaction, but the return is far greater for your business when your employees appreciate your business and they know that you’re willing to go the extra mile in order to make your teams happy.

Increasing Security

Many business owners accustomed to the direct deposit system might be skeptical of electronic money transfers, including the kinds that would allow your employees to utilize their payroll cards. Although cybersecurity is indeed a relevant question and you should look into the safest ways to provide your employees with their salary, modern solutions are as safe, if not even safer than traditional bank transfers.

In a sense, cards might be an even better option since they don’t require you to collect any sensitive information such as bank account numbers or routing numbers – as you create each individual account for your employees, you also hold the reins of the system’s security. Plus, high levels of personalization make it very difficult for a thief to use a stolen card without additional authentication of their identity.

Automatizing Processes

Talk to your accounting department gurus, and they’ll gladly explain to you all the vital steps that go into managing your employee files, handling their salaries, the taxes that go into the process, and the actual payouts. Chances are, you have a team of people handling that portion of your business, even if you don’t have a large organization with many employees. While direct deposits fit almost any business model, setting up payroll cards actually requires you to bring some automatization into your business.

If you’re ready to modernize the way you cover your employees’ wages, these cards and the accounting systems that go with them are the ideal choice for your growing business. They do take some getting used to, but they definitely help you shorten the process while your finance and accounting teams focus on more relevant tasks.

While other business processes are equally important to optimize your business in favor of your employee happiness, how you give out their wages is certainly at the very top of the list. The amount is definitely not the only way to keep your employees happy, since making things streamlined, convenient, and simple is beneficial both for your business and your team. Every business is different, though, so make sure that you select the solution that will be optimal for your company and your employees.


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by Elaine Bennett // Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she's a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more people and help them on their business journey.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.