KSEE 24 recently reported that several farmworkers were robbed at gunpoint while they were working in Sanger:
Most farmworkers are “unbanked” and thus have to cash their paychecks. From time to time we’ve had customers inquire about payroll cards: Visa or MasterCard branded cards that are issued to employees by the employer, not a bank, and which can be loaded with worker’s pay through a direct deposit process, eliminating printing payroll checks and the need to pay check cashing fees and then carry cash around.
These cards can be used for purchases at point of sale and at ATMs just like regular bank issued debit or credit cards. Employees can get cash back when used at point of sale, or withdraw cash from ATMs. If a card is lost or stolen, then it can be reported to the issuing company so that a replacement card can be issued and the old card deactivated.
Some cards are even portable between employers. When a worker starts a job at another employer that offers direct deposit, the card may continue to be used by giving the new employer the routing and account numbers. (Cards are loaded using a standard ACH file with the account numbers and amounts to pay.)
While there may be some fees for certain services, employees may find that these fees are less than the current check cashing fees they must pay now.
While we have a lot of customers using direct deposit, so far customers are doing this with employees who have bank accounts. We don’t know of any customers that have actually implemented one of these payroll card systems. Are there any ag employers and farm workers ready to try this type of direct deposit system?