Restrictive California Pay Card Bill May Further Marginalize the Unbanked and Underserved

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

This article points out that Governor Jerry Brown must sign Senate Bill 931 by October 9th to enact the bill that was ostensibly designed to make payroll cards legal in California; but which is actually so restrictive that it will almost assuredly eliminate payroll cards from the California payments landscape. This is a shame in that payroll cards enable the employed unbanked and underserved to have access to the same financial services that others take for granted.

Within the article Angie Wei, a lobbyist for the California Labor Federation is quoted as saying:

“I feel that Governor Brown will be shocked that a worker cannot get his or her full wages without (paying a fee),” Wei said.

“We want to make sure that workers are eyes-wide-open, that these are voluntary cards, that you get fees disclosed to you up front – and we try to get a modicum of protection to get your wages out for free.”

These are indeed laudable goals. The problem is that this bill goes so far beyond that goal –from the employers perspective it will make payroll cards very expensive; likely more expensive than paper checks. Since free checking is quickly disappearing as a banking option, if this bill passes and effectively eliminates payroll cards, then it might further marginalize the unbanked and underserved by eliminating easy access to the same basic financial services many others take for granted.

Read the full article here: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/19/3920578/lobbying-heats-up-over-wage-debit.html