Practical Tips for Payroll & HR

Fourth in a Series

Wendy Humphrey

Editor’s note: Organizations are increasingly turning to pre-paid payroll cards as a way of compensating employees. These act a lot like a credit or debit card, but with less expense involved. But how do you get employees to embrace this new pay form? Wendy Humphrey, the commercial prepaid team lead at Conduent, explains in this question and answer interview.

Do employees have to sign up for a prepaid payroll card program once it’s been introduced?

No, it’s totally up to the employee. They’ll always have the choice of direct deposit to their own account. Legally, that’s their right. But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to help them make a decision. It’s critically important to educate and communicate the benefits of having a prepaid payroll card.  Plus, integrating the program into the company’s HR benefits and processes is key. That all starts with making it accessible. Employees need to know how easy the switch is.

What are the first steps to take once your prepaid program is introduced?

First, your prepaid payroll provider will guide you through the payroll card enrollment process.  It is key to have several enrollment options to make it easy for employees. Options should include an online application and a simple paper option for those without access during working hours. This can be sent to an HR department and potentially a mobile application. Education is key. People tend to be resistant to change. You’ve got to inform them as early as possible.

And what sort of messages do we want to communicate?

Make sure you communicate the benefits of the program. You will need to cover the basics: how and when funds will be loaded, where the card will be accepted, what the key account notification and alerts mean, and the size and locations of the ATM networks for obtaining cash. And then, there are the extras: How to use budgeting tools, downloading and using a mobile optimized portal, the assurance of being FDIC-insured for up to $250,000 per account and having zero liability for unauthorized purchases.

But how do we go about communicating this?

As I mentioned, integration with your company’s existing HR benefits is critically important.  You need your employees to view the program as an added benefit for being part of your company’s team. Make employees part of the process by asking them for their feedback, and acknowledge their suggestions.

You’ll also want to give your program the right endorsement – try to recruit employees already participating in the program, and encourage them to provide personal testimonials.

Oh – and make sure you have both executive sponsorship as well as employees to champion the program.

“Think about it like this: you want to educate, and you want to inspire. So to do that, you’ll need to raise awareness.”

Can we talk about the type of communication techniques that might work?

Think about it like this: you want to educate, and you want to inspire. So to do that, you’ll need to raise awareness through exciting pieces of content – not just reams of material.

Change it up – try Q&A sessions or create pieces listing pros and cons pieces, so your employees can be easily guided through the process. Try bigger things like an enrollment toolkit and interactive educational videos. And check that you’ve provided information materials in all the right places – deliver the content by email, social media, print, or even magazines and break room posters.

Is this a complex process?

Not at all. The only thing I’d add is that you’ll want to make sure you’ve put a support network in place. Speak with your prepaid payroll card provider about their customer care. Many provide 24/7 servicing and many in a range of different languages.  This may be important depending on your company’s geographic location or employee make up.

Next up: Making sure your pre-paid payroll cards are compliant.