Every month, businesses in San Francisco process, print and distribute thousands of paper paychecks and paystubs, squandering precious resources and creating a heavy burden on the environment. There is no time to waste. Now is the time to switch to direct deposit and paperless pay, and the City’s Office of Financial Empowerment is working with SF Environment to make this change easy.
CurrenC SF is a direct deposit campaign that engages employers throughout San Francisco to help increase direct deposit participation. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, nearly 70,000 working households in San Francisco do not get paid by direct deposit. Additionally, 68% of low-income working households are paid by cash or paper check, and almost 20% of local businesses do not even offer direct deposit.
In addition to the waste this generates, paper paychecks can pose real problems for businesses and their employees. Check cashing fees eat up a good chunk of a family’s income. There’s greater risk of loss or theft. And it costs more to process and distribute paper checks.
Paper paychecks take time to deposit and more time to clear – up to several days, delaying access to much-needed income. You may not be able to get your check if you are sick, on vacation, or in an emergency situation. And workers who cash their paycheck are vulnerable to theft or loss. Most importantly, workers who receive paper pay checks often have no choice but to use check cashers and other fringe financial services, costing families more than $1,000 in fees each year.
Direct deposit, on the other hand, delivers pay safely, immediately, and without hefty fees. It saves money and improves productivity for businesses. Direct deposit and paperless payroll can cut costs associated with processing, printing, and distributing checks by as much as 90% - and eliminates the hassle of lost and stolen checks. Plus, it reduces waste and pollution. Simple, safe, smart, and green: direct deposit is a better way to pay employees.
The CurrenC SF initiative, and its website (www.currencsf.org), offer a wide variety of resources for employers to help increase direct deposit participation. By joining CurrenC SF, employers can access an employer toolkit, marketing materials, tips and tools for communicating with employees, guides to high-quality payroll products and services, access to low-cost checking accounts for unbanked employees, and more. Participation is voluntary, and it’s easy to join: visit www.currencsf.org and click on “Join CurrenC SF Now.”
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, United Way of the Bay Area, and Small Business Administration have joined Mayor Lee and Treasurer Cisneros in a commitment to a long-term goal of making San Francisco the first city in the country with a 100% paperless payday. We urge you to make this small change with big benefits: go direct, and go green!