New Study Finds Payroll Cards Used by Both Banked, Underbanked Consumers

Payroll card users represent a diverse section of the American workforce, including both banked and underbanked consumers, according to a new study by the Center for Financial Services Innovation. The study found that the majority of payroll card users use the cards in addition to other bank products — suggesting that many are actively choosing to have their paychecks delivered via a payroll card, which can serve as an alternative to being paid via direct deposit or paper checks.

For example, 84 percent of payroll card users reported also have checking accounts, 74 percent have a debit card linked to a checking account, 73 percent have savings accounts and 71 percent have credit cards. Just 2 percent of payroll card users said they did not own any other banking products. A notable number of users reported using digital channels to access the features of their card, the study found. Ninety-five percent reported having access to a website for their payroll card; of those, 96 percent use the site. Of the three-quarters of respondents that said they had access to a mobile app for their card, 94 percent said they used that feature.

Consumers said that receiving better information (including fees associated with the card), having multi-functional tools to help encourage budgeting and saving behaviors, and usage incentives would increase their satisfaction with their payroll card.