How to Get a Debit Card Immediately

by
Adam Rust

Recognizing that workers and their employers like to set up direct deposit as quickly as possible, some banks have designed new methods to speed up the process of getting a new bank account.

Applicants can learn their account and routing number immediately (after approval) with three of the accounts on WiseWage: Varo, Akimbo, and Waleteros.  

Not surprisingly, speeding up the time it takes to get an account requires that a person use a smartphone.

It’s still worth noting that it will take as long as ever to get a plastic card in the mail. Time-to-plastic depends on the performance of the US Postal Service.

However, there are three ways that things are getting faster: integrating account application within the app store or Google play downloads, making direct deposit faster by giving consumers early access to their routing and account number, and issuance of virtual cards.

Apply by Downloading the App

These days, a person can open a bank account anywhere. You don’t even have to be on a desktop computer. Many banks now prefer people to begin a banking relationship through their app. It makes sense because smartphones can make it easier for banks to verify your identity, set up security protocols, and learn the account holder’s contact information.

Notably, by using your phone to open the account, a consumer can immediately avail themselves of important account information. If you know your account number and routing number of the bank, then it is easy to….

Set up Direct Deposit

The companies choose to offer that information because it reduces the friction to establishing a direct deposit.

The most logical time to set up a direct deposit is at the moment when a new hire is on-boarded by HR. If a worker already has a bank account, then that is reasonably easy to do. All a worker has to do is locate a checkbook – the routing and account number appear at the bottom left-hand corner of each paper check. However, if the worker does not have an account already, it becomes harder to get things done on time.

While both the worker and the employer want to establish the direct deposit, they have to beat the clock before the first payday. All other things being equal, consider a scenario where a new employee works on the week before the end of the first two-week pay period. That worker is on schedule to receive their first paycheck within three weeks of starting. 

Typically the bank making the payment seeks to know the amounts to send two days before payday. So, if payday falls on a Friday, then the employer will have to complete payroll by Wednesday.

If a worker applies for an account on the first day of work – and it is unlikely that a payroll department would go to the trouble of completing the paperwork for direct deposit before the person arrived for the first day of work – then the employer has between zero and 13 days to facilitate direct deposit.

It usually takes between four and seven business days for the new plastic card to arrive in the mail.

Picture of card
Picture of card
Picture of card

The New New Thing: The Virtual Card

However, recently, some banks have rolled out “virtual cards.” A virtual card can be activated as soon as the application receives approval. Once the consumer has completed the activation process, the virtual card is ready to be used for card-not-present spending. For example, a person could apply for and activate a virtual card, transfer funds by pull ACH, and buy goods online as soon as the transfer of funds settled.

WiseWage’s Waleteros account includes the option of receiving a virtual card.

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