A payroll debit card, or paycard, is an alternative way of receiving employment compensation. Instead of receiving a check or direct deposit, earnings are deposited on a debit card. This can be a less-expensive way of processing a payroll thereby making it advantageous to employers. However, there are some disadvantages for the employee.


There can be fees associated with withdrawing money from a payroll debit card. There can also be setup fees to establish the account. This is a disadvantage to people who could deposit a check for free.


Debit cards are not accepted everywhere. Additionally, some people have bills that need to be paid with a check. Making employees withdraw money from a paycard and then deposit it into their checking account can be inconvenient, especially if there are fees involved.

Some automated teller machines have limits on the number of withdrawals that can be made. Having such limits on your paycheck can be inconvenient.


Some people will prefer to be paid by check. If a company only offers a paycard, it may make employees uncomfortable. According to a Fortune Small Business article, many employees are wary of changes to their pay or benefits.

Loss and Theft

Paycards can be lost or stolen. Even if the employee doesn’t physically lose the card--if anyone gains access to the number, they will have access to that person’s entire paycheck. While it’s true that debit cards can be replaced, there is a waiting period.