Financial stress and uncertainty can be a major issue for workers, especially those that are unbanked or underbanked. Improving wage security will provide much-needed relief to your workforce and can significantly boost employee engagement and productivity. Paycheck and wage debit cards give both you and your employees much greater flexibility and security, and makes you a more attractive employer.
Financial inequality is a significant issue in the US that particularly disadvantages lower-paid employees—especially those in temporary and contract work—and individuals from ethnic minorities. This inequality creates significant stress around money, resulting in worry and anxiety about how a worker is going to pay their bills and buy their essentials.
Employees without bank accounts are particularly vulnerable—unbanked and underbanked individuals pay considerably higher fees for financial services that many others take for granted. This also makes it difficult to build savings and security, perpetuating the low-income cycle. As an employer, you can make a difference. Switching to payroll cards will give your workers immediate access to their funds, provide greater financial security and productivity, encourage them to save, and lower your administrative costs.
“On the periphery of the payments ecosystem, a subset of Americans are paying millions of dollars each year just to transact. While payments professionals expect consumers to rely heavily on cards and ACH transactions, many financially marginalized consumers pay with cash, prepaid cards, and money orders. Many must take out payday loans for short term credit. The Financial Health Network estimates that in 2020 the financial services industry serving this market cost American consumers $255B.”—Glenbrook, The True Cost of Being Underbanked
Difficulties Accessing Wages Cause Significant Stress and Undermines Productivity, Attendance, and Focus
Financial issues are often the biggest stressors for individuals. A PWC survey found that:
- More than half of all employees feel stressed dealing with their personal financial situation.
- 46 percent of employees say that financial challenges cause them the most stress in their lives.
- More than two-thirds of financially stressed employees struggle to pay their bills each month.
- Half say they are spending three or more hours each week dealing with personal financial issues.
- Employees said that financial stress caused them issues with their health (28 percent), negatively impacted their productivity at work (22 percent), and led to missing work occasionally (12 percent).
“The effect of financial stress on worker productivity is striking. Employees who are stressed about their finances are nearly five times more likely to be distracted by their finances at work, twice as likely to spend three hours or more at work dealing with financial matters, and three times more likely to spend five hours or more. Stressed employees are also twice as likely to miss work on account of their personal financial issues and are more inclined to cite health issues caused by financial stress. They are also more likely to experience difficulties with relationships at home.”—PWC, Financial stress and the bottom line: Why employee financial wellness matters to your organization
Immediate Access to Wages is a Vital First Step Towards Greater Security
One of the main issues for workers is getting rapid access to money they have earned. The delays of having to wait for a paycheck every two weeks means they often rely on paycheck loans with exorbitant interest rates and fees. A payroll card helps to resolve these and other issues in several ways:
- Employees can get immediate access to their money as soon as they’ve completed a shift, improving their cash flow.
- They can withdraw money from an ATM or use the card to directly pay for bills and necessities, reducing their reliance on credit cards.
- Cards are safer and more secure than cash or checks, with less likelihood of fraud and theft.
Paycheck replacements like our dashPayroll card have another groundbreaking feature that can help employees get on top of their finances: a savings feature that means they can move money into a savings “bucket” that encourages them to save each time they are paid and build up their financial buffer.
Although we know that payroll cards are not a silver bullet, they’re a great way to start offering greater financial security to your employees—and that’s not just great for them, it has many benefits for you as well, such as boosting employee engagement.
“Financial stress may also influence employee engagement. We are seeing some signs that loyalty, appreciation for salary and benefits, and recruiting may be linked to overall financial wellness. For example, employees who are reporting financial stress are less likely to think their employer cares about their financial well-being and more likely to be attracted to an employer who does care about their financial well-being.”—PWC, Financial stress and the bottom line: Why employee financial wellness matters to your organization
Payroll Cards Make Payroll Fast, Easy, and Less Expensive
One of the great aspects of our cards is that they’re a win-win solution. Not only do they demonstrate that you care about the financial health of your employees, they provide direct benefits to your business:
- You can transition your payroll to be entirely electronic, meaning you never need to send out cash or checks.
- No paper means lower costs, with no need to print or mail checks.
- There’s less chance of check fraud or issues with lost, stolen, or misplaced cash.
- Payroll cards are streamlined and efficient, and easily integrate with your current payroll system.
- Virtual cards and funds can be issued immediately, with physical cards available after a few days. These physical cards can be reloaded with wages for each pay period.
Prepaid Technologies Helps You Provide a Pathway to Financial Inclusion
Widening and deepening access to financial services is good for everyone. Payroll cards are one way to encourage financial inclusion—providing funds to vulnerable workers when they need them most. Building trust and reducing money stress goes a long way towards creating a stronger work culture, and benefits communities as a whole.
It’s time to get started.