Looking back over my work history, I realized the arrival of my paychecks has followed three different schedules: biweekly, once a month and never (one of the unique joys of freelancing is attempting to chase down your checks and coming up empty-handed). Rather than having to wait, wouldn’t it be ideal to work for an employer who pays every day?
Temporary employees of healthcare staffing provider Nursefinders may have the answer. Nursefinders asked banking giant JPMorgan Chase to offer temporary staff a Chase payroll card that gets loaded with the day’s salary as quickly as two hours after a time card is submitted.
“While payroll cards themselves are not new, this is the first case in which a JPMorgan customer has asked us to provide cardholders with ‘Daily Pay,’ enabling employees to get access to salary payments more quickly,” says Chase spokesman John T. Murray. “In a challenging economy, many employees value having faster access to funds in order to pay basic living expenses.”
“Temporary workers can receive payments on the day that a shift is completed, giving them faster access to funds to pay basic living expenses such as groceries, gas and utility bills,” says a Chase press release. “Cardholders can access their funds at automated teller machines (ATMs), receive cash back at retail locations, pay bills online and make purchases at the millions of locations that accept Visa debit cards, such as retail stores and restaurants.”
The Chase payroll card also represents a solution for those Nursefinders employees who are among the nation’s many unbanked Americans.
In addition to speed and convenience, the Chase payroll card offers savings: It’s free to register for one of the cards and enables workers to avoid paying check-cashing fees. Cardholders have the option of receiving pay daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly. However, “the daily pay option has been met with the greatest enthusiasm,” says Nursefinders payroll manager Sandi Johnson. That isn’t surprising.
Aside from the sad acknowledgement that U.S. workers are so strapped for cash that they would otherwise be forced to borrow or use credit cards to cover even necessary items, I’m not sure I see an issue with the product itself. After all, if U.S. workers earn a paycheck, employers shouldn’t hang onto the money for any longer than is necessary.
If anything, more cash in hand should mean less reliance on consumer debt products. Isn’t that a good thing?