Georgia employers now have another option for paying their employees: prepaid payroll debit cards, according to a recent bulletin from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Competitiveness.
Georgia law previously allowed for checks, cash and direct deposit, but was silent on using prepaid debit cards as an authorized method. Some employers were reluctant to use this method until the state law was amended and clarified, the Chamber said.
In many sectors of the Georgia economy, especially for service workers and the agriculture industry, there exists a large population who are “un-bankable,” according to the Chamber. For employees who do not have a checking account, direct deposit is not an option. The prepaid payroll debit card method offers a secured alternative to cash and avoids issues of fraud and fees associated with physical checks.
Employees who receive payment this way can use the debit card for purchases just as they would any other debit card, and they are allowed to withdraw cash from any ATM.
The law requires any employer electing to participate in the method to deliver a written description of any bank fees associated with the program, and allows 30 days for an employee to request a physical check in lieu of the debit card. It also allows employees to transfer to direct deposit at any time.
This bill, Senate Bill 88, was signed into law May 6 by Gov. Nathan Deal is now in effect.