Payroll cards eager to deal in Canada

Major credit card companies all on board
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/07/2007

Touted as efficient, inclusive, cost-saving devices — allowing employers to put work pay on a card instead of in a bank account or on a cheque — prepaid payroll cards are just starting to emerge as a viable option for Canadian employers.

That’s in contrast to the United States, where the cards are expected to grow from 812,500 cards in 2004 to 14.2 million by 2008 (according to a July 2006 report by Mercator Advisory Group in Waltham, Mass.) or from 2.2 million in 2004 to 17.5 million in 2010 (according to a 2005 study by Pelorus Group of New Jersey).

“Payroll cards in Canada are a relatively new phenomenon,” said Stephen Jack, vice-president of marketing at Mint Technology, a payment solutions company in Toronto. “We’re a fairly well-banked society so there hasn’t been a screaming need for it, unlike the U.S., where a lot of businesses are cheque-based or cash-based.”