MasterCard has set new standards for its payroll cards, and says it should help employees take better advantage of its benefits. Payroll cards typically are used as a way to deposit paychecks for workers who do not have access to a traditional checking account. Critics cite fees to use the cards as a burden on low-wage workers who receive them as payment.
MasterCard says that its new standards will require employers to offer cardholders greater insight on the cards through educational resources and increased transparency of any fees. It says the standards ensure the employee has a fee-free way to access their pay and check available balances. Payroll cardholders can access their full pay for free at least once per pay period under the new standards and employees will have a choice of how they are paid — by card, direct deposit or other means — as required by law.