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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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If my employer offers me a payroll card, do I have to accept it?

Answer: No. Your employer can’t require you to receive your wages on a payroll card. Your employer has to offer you at least one alternative.

Some employers will give you a choice between direct deposit to a payroll card, direct deposit into your bank account, or a paper check. Others may only give you a choice between the a direct deposit to your own bank account or a prepaid card you choose, or a payroll card. Depending on the state you are in, your state’s laws say what choices your employer has to offer to you, or your state law might require that your employer get your written consent before paying you with a payroll card.

Your employer or the card issuer must provide you with the card’s terms and conditions. Before you agree to receive your wages on a payroll card, make sure you understand the card’s terms and fees. For example, some cards charge fees for ATM withdrawals, receiving paper statements, checking your account balance at an ATM, or using live customer service. Some cards charge fees every time you make a purchase, or charge an “inactivity fee” for not using your card.

If you start using a payroll card and you don’t like it, you can ask your employer to switch you to another option.

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.