Choosing A Vendor

There are a variety of different paycard providers in the marketplace to choose from. Your organization's payroll service provider may offer its own paycard program. There also are a number of third-party vendors whose core business is the development and servicing of paycard programs. These third-party vendors all have a relationship with a financial institution that holds the funds and establishes the paycard accounts. Finally, some financial institutions manage their own paycard programs.

It is important to compare vendors so that you can select the program that is the best fit for your organization. When interviewing candidates, you should come prepared with a list of questions that will help you differentiate between providers. Some employers issue a Request for Information (RFI) to several providers and use the information obtained from that process to narrow the list of candidates. Whether gathering information through in-person interviews or using an RFI, or both, you should consider asking the following questions at a minimum:

  • Has the vendor implemented paycard programs for other employers in your industry? If so, were they successful? What challenges did the vendor encounter?
  • How does the vendor's program differ from programs offered by other paycard providers?
  • What type of paycards does the vendor offer? Are they branded? FDIC-insured? Personalized? Are employees able to load other funds to the card and use the card after the employment relationship has ended?
  • What fees are associated with the vendor's program and who pays them?
  • How can employees access their wages without cost?
  • How are the card accounts funded? Is it possible to fund an account immediately?
  • Is the card associated with a surcharge-free ATM network?
  • What type of customer service does the vendor offer?
  • What happens if an employee's card is lost or stolen?
  • How does the vendor stay abreast of legal developments and address legal compliance?
  • How are employees enrolled in the program?
  • What role does the vendor play in promoting the program to employees?
  • What security measures does the vendor offer to minimize the risk of fraud?

In addition, your list of questions should address any issues that are specific to your organization and its particular needs, goals, and challenges.