GE Corporate Payment Services Launches Payroll Solution

Debit-based MasterCard touted as cost-effective option for companies with increasingly diverse and mobile workforces

Debit-based MasterCard touted as cost-effective option for companies with increasingly diverse and mobile workforces

Salt Lake City, UT — June 17, 2004 — GE Corporate Payment Services today launched a new payroll solution that it is promoting as a cost-saving alternative to payroll checks.

The Payroll Card, a debit-based MasterCard product, provides companies with a solution to pay employees, contractors and temporary workers, GE said in announcing the new card.

The payroll card is the latest in Corporate Payment Services' lineup of "stored value" products, which are pre-funded for a variety of purposes, including corporate incentives, gifts, relocation expenses and project budgets.

"The Payroll Card combines convenience and cost-efficiency for employers with the worldwide acceptance of a MasterCard-branded debit card that's appealing to employees who don't have checking accounts or who would prefer to avoid an extra trip to cash a paper check," said Jeffery R. Dye, president and CEO of GE Corporate Payment Services.

With the Payroll Card, instead of issuing a paper check, companies can deposit an employee's pay into a personal card account, using Automated Clearing House (ACH) direct deposit. Employees still receive a pay statement from the company for their records. Once the pay amount is deposited, employees have immediate access to cash via ATMs or bank teller windows, or they can use the card to pay for purchases at grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, hardware stores and other retailers.

"With the card accepted at millions of locations worldwide, take-home pay turns into take-anywhere pay," Dye quipped.

Each payday, the card can be reloaded with the employee's net pay. As an added convenience, the employee also can use the card for personal identification number (PIN) or signature-based transactions.

GE said that the new payroll card is supported by phone- and Web-based customer service that will make it easier to track available funds and manage budgets. Employers can't view employee transaction activity, ensuring account privacy, according to GE.

Dye said that processing payroll via the Payroll Card can result in significant savings for employers. Companies also save money on check printing and mailing costs, as well as expenses associated with replacing lost or stolen checks.

"Payroll cards are a particularly attractive solution for companies with a diverse or mobile workforce," Dye said. "They can benefit 'unbanked' employees, as well as 'road warriors.' With so many U.S. employees working overseas or traveling for extended periods of time, it can be difficult to access a bank account away from home. With the Payroll Card, their pay is as close as their MasterCard."

GE said that payroll cards are also well suited for businesses in industries that employ a large number of temporary or contract workers. An "instant issue" version of the payroll card, designed for short-term employment, is also available.