Educating the World about Payroll Cards, one blog at a time…

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eZbenefits Saves You Time And Money

It’s not often you find a benefits option ona payroll card. The eZbenefits package offers ReadyFUND$ cardholders and business owners a value packed solution saving both time and money. Many employers find it increasingly difficult to provide affordable health care, dental, vision and other benefits to their employees. Today’s job seekers heavily consider these options when exploring their employment opportunities. No matter the industry, benefit options are a key factor in the hiring process and the longevity of valued employees.

eZbenefits, offered by ReadyFUND$, is a health discount plan offered to all cardholders and their family members. Discounts on a variety of healthcare services include:

Doctor Visits
Prescription Drugs
Hearing Care
Diabetes Care & Supplies
Vision Care
Surgical Centers
X-ray, MRI & Imaging
Daily Living Products
Lab Savings
Our card holders see the following average savings as a result of using this feature:

Doctor Visits – Up to 25%
Consult a Doctor 24/7- Up to 65%
Prescription Drugs – Up to 65%
Hearing Care – Up to 15%
Dental – Up to 50%
Diabetes Care & Supplies – Up to 10%
Vision Care – Up to 50%
Vitamins – Up to 10%
Surgical Centers – Up to 80%
Medical Hospital Bill Help -Up to 30%
X-ray, MRI & Imaging – Up to 70%
Daily Living Products – Up to 10%
Lab Savings – Up to 60%

While the eZbenefits package is NOT an insurance plan, it can be used in combination with current health care coverage. There is no waiting period, no pre-existing condition denials and no long applications to fill out.

Take a closer look at the ReadyFUND$ Payroll Card today. No cost to your business to implement the program, no cost to your employees to have the card and a full benefits suite no other direct deposit pay card can match!

Will Banks Charge Higher Fees in the Future on Debit Cards and Checking Accounts?

The simple answer to this question is: “it depends”.  What does it depend on?  It depends on whether or not the regulations passed by the Federal Government will continue in force, be modified, repealed or possibly even be expanded.  Ever since the housing market meltdown the Federal Government tried to protect consumers from businesses; but it really needed to protect them from government regulations as well.  What does that mean?  It means in 2005 when congressional leaders pushed for Fannie Mae to make more home loans to people, the banks complied and made more loans.  When the housing bubble burst, the Federal Government immediately began pointing fingers at Wall Street and the banking industry for generating a profit by making risky loans to under qualified buyers. Never mind that congress was pushing in that very direction or that consumers were applying for loans on houses they knew they couldn’t afford.  Ok, so how does that impact fees on checking account and debit cards?  The Dodd Frank Bill pushed through congress to protect consumers from Wall Street and banks contained many different components.  One of those was the Durbin Amendment which significantly reduced the fees retailers pay banks for accepting debit cards.  There were also new regulations passed to modify the prices banks can charge consumers on checking account overdrafts.  Finally the Federal Government is heavily scrutinizing loans made by banks and banks have cut way back on lending to avoid scrutiny.  The result of this type of Federal Government regulation is lost business and revenue for the banking industry well beyond what was called for, and eventually they will need to compensate for it somewhere somehow.  What are the alternatives for hard-working consumers?  One option might be to consider a prepaid debit card.  Although these cards do have some fees, they may be less than what your bank may charge for a traditional checking account, you can’t overdraw them and everyone can qualify. Paycards or Payroll cards are one of the best options for prepaid debit cards because they are provided by employers at no cost and employees receive and can access their pay at no cost each time they are paid.   Will there be higher debit card and checking account fees in the future?  Hard to know at this point but one thing’s for sure, the more the Federal Government tries to dictate and control the outcome of “free enterprise”, the less “free enterprise” there will be and that will never be good for hard-working U.S. consumers.

What do I need to do to protect myself if my payroll card is lost or stolen?

I’m not being cheesy when I say, I’m sorry for your loss. Losing your payroll card is a scary and nerve-wracking thing. But it is not the end of the world. Hopefully you have a MasterCard or Visa branded payroll card, like the ReadyFUND$ MasterCard Payroll Card. If you do, all of your funds are FDIC insured. Which means MasterCard or Visa will cover any funds that result in someone stealing and fraudulently using your card, just like a bank debit card or a credit card.

The important thing to do is to immediately call your payroll cards customer service number, ironically located on the back of your payroll card, but it also comes in your payroll card packet or on the payroll card material and you should be able to find it on your payroll card providers website. Letting the payroll card company know as soon as possible that your payroll card was lost or stolen helps ensure your money is protected. They can immediately stop any activity on your card, set up a new payroll card and transfer your funds to it automatically.

Any funds that are stolen after you report your payroll card lost or stolen are covered. However if there are any funds stolen before you report your payroll card lost or stolen you can be held liable for a portion, up to $500 according to the Federal Trade Commission.  I would also strongly recommend signing up for text or email alerts. These alerts notify you of your daily balance, any activity and when funds get below a threshold you set, say $100. This will help you spot anything out of the ordinary even before you may realize your payroll card was lost or stolen.  It may be scary and nerve-wracking, but there are small simple steps you can do to ensure you and your money are protected.

How Can I avoid Fees on My Payroll Card?

All payroll cards and prepaid cards have fees. Sorry, that’s the way it is. While some payroll cards fees may be higher than others, there is always a way to use your payroll card without every paying a fee. Want to know how? Don’t worry I am going to tell you. Read on…

First: All payroll cards have to let you access your payroll deposit 100% free of charge after you get paid. The way that payroll cards usually do this is after you get paid, each time, there are certain transactions that allow you to access all of your paycheck without incurring fees. So if you wanted to transfer your paycheck to a bank account-FREE. Or, if you wanted to withdrawal all of your money at the bank-FREE. There are usually multiple transactions that give you this ability. If you don’t want to take all your money off the card, but still want to limit fees, keep reading.

Second: While not all payroll or prepaid cards offer this, especially not prepaid cards, good payroll card companies will offer free POS purchase transactions. That means when you are buying something at the register, whether you select credit or debit, you won’t get charged a fee from your card. Some even allow you to get cash back with no charge. Prepaid cards are not usually this way, and like I said not all payroll cards are, but there are some good companies out there that do this.

Third: Sign up for text alerts! Or email alerts, or whatever makes you happier. I cannot stress this feature enough.  Balance alerts help cardholders avoid those pesky “Non Sufficient Funds” fees. You can sign up for balance alerts daily, so you know your balance first thing each morning. Or even anytime your balance changes. That is what I do. I know automatically when my payroll hits my card and my balance after every transaction. If I don’t know if I have enough on my card I can either look at my last text or simply request it. If you receive text alerts to your cell phone, there’s a number you can text something to, like BAL or BALANCE, and receive a reply back to you with your current balance. This is a life saver if you are ever in line with a cart full of groceries and can’t remember if you had $50 or $150 left.

Fourth: See if there is a “partner” network your payroll card uses. While you will get charged for withdrawing money from an ATM, if your payroll card partners with a specific network you may be able to avoid additional fees. Some ATMs charge fees beyond what your payroll card company charges. Find the network that does not charge users of your specific payroll card any additional fees. You may still pay the ATM withdrawal fee to your card, but it will be less than paying one to the card and one to the ATM.

Some of these suggestions will help you avoid fees all together. But that may not be practical for everyone. If you can’t eliminate, at least you can minimize.

Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Web …Does it matter to me?

Mobile apps are the latest craze in the mobile device market.  And it’s no wonder why, businesses are developing custom programs designed to perform very sophisticated services through a person specific device market. Everything from games to financial transactions to GPS driven locater services are now available, largely at no cost to the user.  The three primary “smart” platforms for mobile apps are the Android, iPhone and Blackberry.

Mobile web sites on the other hand are designed to function on any device with a web browser. This includes the three mobile platforms above, but also includes millions of other mobile phones that have web browsers for internet access.  A mobile website is simply an alternative version of an existing website designed to deliver an effective display of features to the mobile screen.  When accessing a standard website, the platform will typically recognize the incoming mobile device and automatically redirect access to the mobile site version for a better consumer website experience, with or without a “smart” phone platform.

The bottom line:  Whether an app or just a mobile site, most mobile platform web access has some limitations when compared to the accessing from a full screen computer.  With that in mind, both mobile aps and mobile websites can be very handy and helpful for accessing certain types of information.  For example, maybe I’m out and about and looking for a specific ATM network for using my debit card or ReadyFUND$ payroll card.  It’s nice to pull up an app (if I have a smart phone) or a mobile website (works for any web enabled phone) and it will tell me exactly where to go.

Does it matter to me which one I use?  Not at all, as long as it gives you the information you need in an easy to access and easy to read format.

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