What to watch out for with payroll cards

Payroll cards can help avoid check cashing costs, but can have nasty fees of their ownIf you’re currently getting a paper paycheck and your employer hasn’t already tried to get you to switch to a payroll card, they probably will at some point.

Last year businesses loaded paychecks onto 4.6 million payroll cards, and that’s expected to grow to 7.1 million cards by 2014, according to Aite Group, a financial services consulting firm.

It’s easy to understand why employers love payroll cards, which work like prepaid debit cards. They cut down on the cost of cutting paper checks and eliminate losses to payroll check fraud, which is so easy a 16-year-old could do it a lot and and not get caught for a really long time.

Why an employee would like them isn’t as clear.

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