Reloadable Prepaid Cards—An Alternative to Direct Deposit for Employee Payroll

Direct deposit is often the most inexpensive method for the church to have an employee’s wages distributed. But what if an employee doesn’t have a bank account? Reloadable prepaid cards, also known as prepaid debit cards, are a popular alternative to direct deposit and even payroll checks.

What are reloadable prepaid cards?

We’re all familiar with credit cards, debit cards, and retailer gift cards. Reloadable prepaid cards are a variation of the three. Reloadable prepaid cards, like credit and debit cards, are for long-term use. However, since they aren’t tied to a bank account, a well-established credit history isn’t required. Funds can be loaded on the card by the cardholder, their employer, or the employer’s payroll provider. The cardholder can then use the card for purchases almost anywhere. In addition, the cardholder has the ability to pay bills online. Often, they also can participate in a cardholder rewards program.

Where are reloadable prepaid cards offered?

All of the well-established credit card companies offer reloadable prepaid cards. They can be ordered online or purchased at most convenience stores and pharmacies. When signing up for a card, an individual usually will be asked to verify their identity by providing their name, address, phone number, birth date, and social security number.

Choose a card provider carefully and weigh your options

Employees should closely compare the card terms and conditions when choosing which company to use. It’s also important to watch for hidden fees, and find out what protection is offered if the card is ever lost or stolen.

Additional resources

More information about specific cards is available on card issuer websites. Here are a few:
American Express®
MasterCard® 
Visa®