The Best Payroll Card has the Best Customer Service

by
Adam Rust

Employers should consider several factors when they pick a payroll card provider. Of these, customer service is the most important factor and probably the one that requires the most due diligence during your vendor selection process.

I say this because all payroll cards will save time and money for the employers that use them. A payroll card program will help your company get close to or even up to 100 percent direct deposit enrollment. By using direct deposit, you will permanently reduce your company’s overhead. The American Payroll Association estimates that businesses spend more than two dollars to print each paycheck, based upon the cost of labor and processing. Every payroll card is built to use direct deposit.

On the other hand, there is no guarantee about customer service. When you sign on to a new payroll card partnership, it becomes a factor in your company’s relationship with its workers. Your staff is going to perceive the card as an extension of your company. If they think the card has problems, they will attach the blame to the company that gave them the card. Look out!

Let’s review the three questions that matter the most:

First, the business owner needs to ask how much they will pay to use the service. Does the card provider charge fees to the business?

Second, a smart employer should recognize the importance of customer service. They will want to have an easy way to reach a person inside the payroll card company. Ideally, they will have a dedicated “go-to” representative assigned to their account. That makes a difference. You will have a hard time leaving work on a Friday if there is a problem with the paychecks.

However, customer service goes beyond the communications between the employer and the card company. It is also important that your workers can find answers to their questions. If they cannot, it is likely that they will direct their inquiries to their employer. Their problems with customer service quickly become those of their employer.

Third, pay attention to how state wage and hour laws vary across the states where your company does business. Logically, any card company seeking to do business in a particular state will have a product that complies with local laws. However, being legal still creates problems if your business wants to use a card to pay workers in more than one state. For example, the state of Connecticut has unusually restrictive rules governing payroll cards. As a result, some payroll card program managers have decided to withdraw from working there.

Beyond the fact that some payroll card companies do not operate in every state, it is also true that the same card program may be programmed to work differently in different jurisdictions. The payroll card company’s staff salespeople will understand the legal requirements and will have designed cards that fit within those rules. If your payroll department has to message differently depending on where your workers are located, then it presents an additional difficulty.

Lastly – how well will the payroll card program integrate with your payroll software? You must understand the answer to this question before you sign a contract.

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Of these four factors, customer service will be the part with the most variation in performance.

One way to test a program’s customer service is to go to the “contact us” section of the payroll card website.

You will want to review customer service from the perspective of a business owner and from an employee.

1)      Examine the site as if you were a person working in payroll. Find out if the card company’s “Contact Us” number serves new accounts or existing accounts. It should have listings for both. Call on the day of the week when you run payroll.  

2)      Navigate the site through the eyes of a worker. Try to determine how he or she would resolve a problem with their account. Would they be able to talk to a live person, or will they be relegated to a chatbot? Understand that if they have a problem, it will be one that relates to their money. In other words, it will be a pressing problem. It could even be something that requires immediate attention. If so, your hire may decide to jump ship and redirect their question to you – the person that gave them the payroll card. Again – lousy customer service is a problem not just for the worker – it is a problem for any company that uses the wrong payroll card.

Many businesses choose to onboard slowly. They opt to offer the card in steps – perhaps first at one location, in only one state, or just with new hires. Staffing agencies usually take the same stepwise approach.

Everyone likes to save time and money. We can all agree on that idea, and it is true with paychecks as it is for anything else. Employers and employees benefit when paychecks go out through direct deposit. K

Because every payroll card will let you use direct deposit to pay workers, all of them can help you save money.

However, the “rubber hits the road” with customer service. Poor customer service is like a landmine that is waiting to disrupt your business.

Bottom line – pick a card provider that can deliver on customer service.  

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