Accounts on WiseWage never charge overdraft fees or minimum balance fees

And your funds are FDIC-insured.

Get Paid Via Direct Deposit

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Receive your pay automatically on payday.

Pay Bills Online

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Enter the payment details online. The card company will mail the check to your biller.

Save for a Rainy Day

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Set aside a little or a lot - be ready for surprises!

Shop Online

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Buy anything on online, from any seller, anywhere, at anytime.

Fraud Protection

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Get relief from charges that you never authorized.
See each cardholder agreement on the provider's site for protection details.

FDIC Insured

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All cards on Wisewage include FDIC insurance of your funds.

Select one of our recommended fee-free bank accounts for individuals

Benefit from our research - save money with one of the choices below
Varo Bank Account. Fee Free*, the Only Way to Bank
  • No fees or minimums
  • No overdraft or NSF fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Fee-free withdrawals at 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs
  • Optional Savings Account earning 2.12% - 2.80% APY
  • Set up direct deposit and get paid up to 2 days early*
  • Deposit checks with your iPhone or Android
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Try Varo Money
The most rewarding and intelligent way to bank
  • No fees or minimums
  • No overdraft or NSF fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Fee-free withdrawals at 32,000+ MoneyPass ATMs
  • Optional Savings Account earning 1.90% APY
  • Get 1% cash back on debit card purchases
  • Built-in budgeting for all your accounts
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Try Empower

How to Add Money to Your Account

Direct Deposit

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When you use direct deposit, your earnings are available quickly and for free.

Paper Checks

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Sign your check, open your bank's app, and take a picture of the check.


Cash to Card icon
Load cash onto your account at some surcharge-free ATMs.

From Another Bank

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You can send or receive funds from another bank using your routing and account number.

Print out the Direct Deposit Form

Help your employer set up your direct deposit!

Frequently Asked Questions for Employees

Can I Use Venmo with the Empower Bank Account?

Yes, you can use your Empower account to send and receive funds with Venmo. You will input the routing number for Empower (084106768) and your account number into the Venmo app.

Can I use Venmo with the Varo Bank Account

Yes, Varo works with Venmo as well as CashApp, PayPal Instant Transfer, and Facebook Messenger. To link, you provide the Varo Bank routing number (031101279) and your account number.

What Savings Accounts Pay the Highest Interest

Comentity Direct High Yield Savings

HSBC Direct

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Synchrony High-Yield Savings

Ally Online Savings

Barclay's Online Savings

First National Bank of Omaha Online Savings Account

Varo Money Savings Account

Empower Savings Account

American Express High-Yield Savings

Discover Bank Savings

Are There Better Bank Account Options than NetSpend or Green Dot cards?

Both NetSpend ($9.95) and Green Dot ($7.95) charge high monthly fees. You can reduce your NetSpend monthly maintenance fee to $5 if you use direct deposit; if you direct deposit $1,000 to Green Dot you will not pay a monthly fee. Still, there are better options out there - even if you have poor credit. Popular fee-free accounts include Varo Money, Empower, Chime, and Movo.

Can I Open a Bank Account if I Owe Money to Another Bank

Yes, there are some banks that will approve you for an account. Banks often check with a registry such as ChexSystems before approving an application. Some banks - including Varo and Empower - do not check credit. As a result, they will approve an account even if you owe money to another bank. Typically, banks that do not offer overdraft are the only ones that do not check credit, as they are not taking the risk that you overspend and then abandon the account.

Can I Open a Bank Account Online Without a Deposit?

Yes. Most online banks never require an opening deposit - even if you have poor credit. For example, the Varo and Empower accounts at WiseWage both allow you to open an account without a deposit. Later, you can transfer money from another bank account, add money through direct deposit, transfer with Venmo, or take a photograph of a paper check to make a deposit.

Can I Overdraft the Varo Bank Account

You can spend up to $50 more than you have in your account, IF in the prior month A) you have received at least $1,000 in direct deposits to the card and B) you made more than 5 debit card purchases. Varo does not charge a fee or interest for the service. However, you must restore the account to a positive balance before you can spend again. You may not use No Fee Overdraft to make an ATM withdrawal.

How Do I Find the Routing Number for the Empower Bank Account

You can find both the bank routing number and your Empower Bank account number inside the Empower app. Open the app, from the Checking tab, click on "More" circle in the center right of the screen. The checking account details will pop up. For all Empower accounts, the routing number is 084106768 The Empower bank account is issued by Evolve Bank & Trust. To establish direct deposit, you may also want to know the name, address, and phone number of the bank: Bank Name: Evolve Bank & Trust; 6070 Poplar Avenue, Suite 100, Memphis, Tennessee 38119. Contact at 415-688-2943.

How Do I Find the Routing Number For My Varo Bank Account

You can find both the bank routing number and your account number inside the account details page on the Varo app. Open the app, go to Checking, then click on "Details" on the upper righthand corner of the app screen. For all Varo accounts, the routing number is 031101279. The Varo account is issued by Bancorp Bank (Wilmington, DE).

Is Empower a Good Bank Account?

The Empower debit card has earned 4.8 stars on the AppStore.

Empower is a good card because it has no fees, offers cashback on spending, and gives you budgeting tools.

Funds in an Empower account are held at Evolve Bank & Trust.

How Do I Open a Varo Money Account

You can open a Varo Money account at WiseWage. You click through from WiseWage to sign up inside the AppStore or Google Play.

If you would like, you can research account features on WiseWage to see all of the details on the costs and functions of a Varo Account.

What are the differences between a Varo Money account and an Empower Account?

Varo Money has more ways to deposit funds and it offers early access to direct deposits. Empower offers cashback and one free out-of-network ATM visit each month.

With Varo, you can deposit funds by taking a picture of your check and you can load cash at a participating Green Dot Network location.

Empower pays 1 percent cash back on the first $1,000 in debit card purchases each month.

Both accounts, if used correctly, can be entirely fee-free. Both offer optional high-interest savings accounts. Both have robust tools in their apps to help cardholders budget and manage their money. Both are branchless banks - you can only use your account via the app.

Is the Varo Money card a regular bank account or a prepaid debit card?

Varo is a bank account. The technical term for a regular bank account is a demand deposit account - meaning that the account holder can draw the funds at any time. It is not a prepaid debit card account. The funds in the account are protected with FDIC insurance. FDIC insurance protects the first $250,000 in balances in an account.

How Can I Make a Deposit with the Varo Money Account?

There are six ways to deposit funds on to a Varo Money bank account: direct deposit, an electronic transfer (ACH) from another bank, by depositing a check inside the app with a photo, from another Varo account via an email or text, by loading cash using a Green Dot MoneyPak, and through a money transfer service.

To use ACH, you will need the account number and routing number of the Varo account. You will submit that information to the sending bank account under "external transfer." Direct deposit works the same way - the sending account must know your routing and account numbers. The Varo Money direct deposit bank routing form is available at WiseWage.

You can buy a MoneyPak in retail stores (Walgreen's, Walmart, et al) for $4.95. Varo does not charge a fee to use MoneyPak. You can also use Green Dot's reload at the register feature at some stores for the same price.

Varo works with Cash App, Venmo, Facebook Messenger, and PayPal Instant Transfer.

Do I have to live in the United States to get an Empower bank account?

Yes, you must have a physical mailing address inside the United States to get an Empower account. All banks must comply with federal banking laws. However, you can be approved for an account if you are living at an address in the United States, even if you are not a US citizen. You must have a SSN to get an Empower account. Also, keep in mind that if a bank receives several applications from the same address during the same day, they may reject your application because of concerns about the possibility of fraudulent activity. 

Can I apply for a Varo Bank Account or an Empower Bank Account if I don't have a Social Security number?

No, you cannot. Both accounts require a social security number. You cannot use an International Tax Identification Number ("ITIN") as an alternative form of ID.

If I have a social security number, must I give it to the bank during my account application?


The banks will reject an application if they believe that their person has a social security number but has chosen not to reveal it in the application process. 

The banks use a service that can verify this information on their behalf. Besides, it would create difficulties for you when you file your taxes if you have used more than one form of identification for managing your finances.

Will a bank disclose my social security number to the government?

No, unless you make a very large transaction. The only time a bank must disclose information about an account holder to the government is when as account holder makes a transfer of more than $10,000. While it is always important to be protective of your SSN, banks are regulated by stringent rules that hold them accountable for safeguarding your personally identifying information. The banks face severe penalties if they fail to honor this legal requirement.

Why Does WiseWage offer FDIC-insured fee-free debit cards?

We aim to help every worker. 

  • Some workers will not qualify for a standard checking account because of their credit history. 
  • Others may avoid traditional banks because of minimum balance requirements and associated fees.
  • Everyone qualifies for all of our card accounts, subject to ID verification.
  • All card accounts on WiseWage provide a full fee listing up front.

What is a Routing Number?

A routing number is a unique identifier for a bank. 

For a transfer of funds to work, both the send and receiving bank need to have their own routing numbers. 

A routing number is sometimes called an ABA Number.

Once I Deposit a Paper Check, How Soon Can I Use the Funds?

  • Many of the mobile photo deposit apps that come with the cards featured on WiseWage give you the choice between immediate access to the funds (for a fee) or access to the funds once they clear through the inter-bank federal system, which is typically 3 or more business days
  • If the card you choose allows you to deposit a paper check into your account at a branch or via an ATM, it will usually take several days before all of your funds are available. 

Because direct deposit is so much faster, many people prefer to use it as the means to process their paychecks.
See individual cardholder agreement for more information on applicable fees and funds availability.

Can I have my government benefits paid by direct deposit to my card account?

Yes, all WiseWage cards can receive a direct deposit of a government benefit payment.

Can I direct deposit my pay to more than one card account?

Yes, typically you can designate that your pay can be split up into several destinations. Check with your employer or benefits provider for restrictions or limitations.

For example, you could send most to your regular prepaid card account but request that a fixed amount go to a separate savings account.

Is the Empower Bank account FDIC-insured?

Yes. Funds in an Empower Bank account are held at Evolve Bank & Trust where they receive full FDIC protection up to $250,000.

How soon will my funds be available with direct deposit?

  • As long as the employer transmits your payroll two week-days prior to the paycheck date, direct deposits are made available on the paycheck date. 
  • Banks vary in what time of the day they release funds. However if the paycheck date falls on a week-end or bank holiday, direct deposit paychecks will be posted on the next day. when the bank is open.
  • The same applies if you receive benefits from a government agency rather than pay from your employer.

Can I Get an Empower bank account with bad credit?

Yes, Empower will approve applicants even if they have bad credit. Empower does not use ChexSystems or a similar service. They ask for your SSN, date of birth, mailing address, and other info to verify your identity, as they must do so to comply with one of several federal banking laws. They may turn down your application if they cannot adequately verify your identity.

How Do I Deposit my Paycheck or Benefits?

The simplest way to deposit your pay or benefits is to set up a direct deposit. 

Direct Deposit Form

To do that, you will need to know your card account number and routing number.   This information is provided to you when you enroll in a card account. It can also be accessed by signing into your online card account mobile app, or contacting your card account’s customer service. See the back of your card for website and customer service phone number.

To the right is a sample of a direct deposit form that you can download and print. Provide this form to your employer or benefits provider.

If you cannot set up direct deposit, then you can still use the card account to deposit funds from approved checks. Your card account will need a mobile app to achieve this; from the app, follow the instructions to add funds from an approved check to your card account.

You can download and print Direct Deposit Forms for the cards on WiseWage here.
Advantages of the Empower Interest Checking Account



Picture of the Direct deposit form for Empower Card