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Despite Scrutiny, Payroll Cards Attractive to Millennials, Study Finds


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While the prepaid payroll sector has drawn criticism from some policymakers, a new study shows that for many workers—especially millennials—payroll cards are an attractive option for receiving wages and managing money.

Conducted by Pay Award-winning payroll card provider Global Cash Card Inc. and The Center for Generational Kinetics, the study polled more than 1,000 adults ages 18 to 65 who had been employed in the previous six months to gauge their attitudes and perceptions around wage payment options. Among the key findings, more than one-third of millennials reported that having their pay loaded onto a payroll card would be helpful, with many citing payroll cards’ financial management capability as a key attraction. When extrapolated to the nationwide scale, that means about 29 million millennials would be attracted to using a payroll card. Meanwhile, sixty-four percent of millennials said payroll cards should be offered as an option by employers, as did more than half of respondents in other age groups.

For employers, offering flexibility in how wages are paid can help attract the best young employees, the study found. Nearly 40 percent of millennials said that a company cares about employees when it offers more payments options. “Paycards have become a trusted payroll source for millennials,” noted Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer and co-founder, Generational Kinetics. “This is incredibly important, as millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce.”

The study follows other research that shows strong support for payroll cards among employees, despite the sector coming under fire from some lawmakers and regulators, who have claimed payroll cards often impose unfair fees that make it expensive for workers to access their pay. In New York, a proposed Department of Labor rule that would ban certain fees and require other services to be provided for free effectively could drive payroll card programs from the state, according to some industry observers and recent Pay Poll respondents.

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