Skip The Bank

January 29, 2007

As a part of my new employee orientation today the various methods of receiving pay were presented. The usual suspects were offered: paycheck by mail and direct deposit. The wrinkle was an option to get a "total pay" Visa card. This functions like a debt card only the money in the account is your paycheck. (Or some portion you designate.) No bank account? No worries - we'll just put your pay into the account behind that little piece of plastic and away you go.

I recognize that for some, who might not have a bank account, that this is an attractive option. In a society that increasingly places importance on using electronic means to purchase goods and services not having access to "plastic" can be a tremendous obstacle to overcome. Still, it seems to me, that just having your paycheck in a debt card sets one up for a spiral of debt. Worse with no chance for savings.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.