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.