Choosing a Pay Card for Employees: Top Providers Compared

Writing paper checks is a giant problem for businesses. Beyond the administrative overhead and time involved, each check costs a business between $4 and $20 when considering materials, processing, and labor costs. Moreover, the risk of check fraud is significant, with losses amounting to billions of dollars annually.

For industries like restaurants that require flexible off-cycle payments, or companies whose workers are underserved by the banking system yet who need immediate access to funds, the inefficiency of checks is especially problematic. The traditional check system simply cannot meet the urgent payment needs of these scenarios. Instead, businesses are turning to pay cards for employees as a swift, secure alternative that eliminates the need for check writing altogether.

In this article, we’ll explore how employee pay cards can streamline your business’s financial operations, cater to the immediate payment needs of diverse employee groups, and reduce the administrative burden associated with traditional payroll methods. Let’s delve into why adopting pay cards is a strategic move for forward-thinking businesses.

Leveraging a Pay Card for Employees: A Business Efficiency Solution

Implementing a pay card for employees is a strategic move for businesses seeking to streamline payroll processes and address specific industry challenges. Let’s explore a few use cases where pay cards offer significant benefits:

In the restaurant industry, there’s commonly a need for off-cycle payments. Restaurants often have to manage a mix of full-time, part-time, and temporary staff, with varying payment schedules. The inflexibility of paper checks can cause delays in compensating staff for their work, especially for those who work irregular hours or earn tips. Pay cards enable restaurants to issue immediate payments post-shift, improving operational efficiency and ensuring staff have timely access to their earnings.

For businesses employing temporary foreign workers, pay cards for employees present a solution to a critical problem: the need for immediate access to funds. These workers, who might not have established banking relationships in the host country, are often underserved by traditional financial institutions. Pay cards circumvent this issue by providing a secure and convenient way to access wages without the wait or expense associated with check cashing services.

These advantages of pay cards for employees hold true in various other sectors with a high turnover rate or seasonal employment patterns. In such cases, setting up and closing bank accounts for short-term employees is impractical and costly. Pay cards offer a flexible alternative, allowing businesses to easily onboard and offboard employees without the administrative burden of traditional banking processes.

These pay cards for employees address key business challenges by enabling rapid payments, reducing administrative burdens, and offering streamlined ways of paying underserved workers. Next, let’s turn our attention to the features your business needs when selecting a provider.

What Features Businesses Need to Look for from a Pay Card Provider

If you’re looking to implement pay cards into your business, where do you begin? It starts with understanding the best features of a pay card for employees and your business. 

  • Customer Service and Support: Like any industry, reliable and accessible customer support is key. For an effective pay card program, support needs to extend to both your business and employees.
  • Employer Interface: A user-friendly interface for employers is key, offering easy navigation and management tools to oversee employee pay card accounts.
  • Integration with Payroll Systems: Seamless integration simplifies the payroll process and reduces errors.
  • Digital Wallet Payments: This feature aligns with modern payment trends and offers employees a convenient option to access and use their wages.
  • Security: The protection of financial data and transactions is of utmost importance for employers.

Understanding the Top Pay Card Providers

Let’s talk about your options for pay cards providers. Here, we outline some of the top pay cards providers in the industry and why each is worth considering.

Juice Financial

Juice Financial offers innovative pay card solutions with a focus on efficiency and cost-effectiveness. They provide rapid deployment and easy integration of pay cards, making it ideal for businesses of all sizes.

Best For: Businesses seeking innovative, efficient, and cost-effective pay card solutions.

Key Features: Quick Start for employers, integrations, and digital wallet compatibility. 

Pros: Rapid deployment, robust infrastructure, a heavy focus on exceptional service, and no-fee pay card programs for employers with many zero-cost benefits for employees.

Cons: While Juice has been providing pay cards for over two decades, its name is not as widely recognized as some other providers.

Money Network

Money Network provides businesses with solutions to streamline electronic pay.

Best For: Large enterprises aiming for increased electronic pay efficiency. 

Key Features: Mobile app with multiple saving options and convenient money transfers. 

Pros: Backed by Fiserv Inc., offers strong customer services. 

Cons: Users complain of mobile app functionality issues.


Branch specializes in offering businesses flexible, instant payment solutions.

Best For: Businesses requiring fast, flexible payment options. 

Key Features: A variety of industry focuses backed by a range of payout options.

Pros: Easy financial tracking and upcoming work shift alerts.

Cons: Options for employer customizations may be limited, and users say frequent app updates are needed.


Rapid! PayCard delivers a secure, all-encompassing paperless pay solution.

Best For: Companies looking for an all-in-one payout platform. 

Key Features: Seamless interbank transactions and robust security measures.

Pros: User-friendly interface and no fees for card inventory or training.

Cons: Many users report poor customer service experience alongside a high number of negative reviews. Service can be a pain point with the largest providers.

Wisely by ADP

Wisely by ADP provides a secure and flexible pay card solution that integrates with business software.

Best For: Employers needing broadly integrated payroll and tax solutions.

Key Features: Leave and attendance management and a wide ATM network.

Pros: ADP is a leader in payroll management, offering a mix of solutions beyond pay cards.

Cons: Somewhat complex account setup for employees. Service can be a pain point with the largest providers.

US Bank

US Bank offers a prepaid payroll card solution aimed at reducing administrative burdens and costs for businesses.

Best For: Businesses focusing on reducing payroll disbursement costs.

Key Features: Compliance with PCI standards and automated funds loading.

Pros: Strong capital and liquidity and high-security standards.

Cons: A large, traditional bank can mean limited third-party software integration and less focus on service.

Pay Cards for Employees Can Change Your Payroll for the Better

As an employer, there’s major potential in harnessing employee pay cards. At Juice, we bring decades of experience in this space. Our solutions have processed billions of dollars for our customers and offers:

  • The flexibility to offer off-cycle payments, such as same-day pay and nightly tip payout, 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • An electronic and convenient payroll disbursement option for underbanked workers.
  • Reports in a centralized admin portal for ease of day-to-day functions.
  • Immediate issuing of payment cards to employees that can be used in digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Quick issuing of last pay to departing employees in a matter of minutes.

Ready to stand out as an employer of choice? It’s time to empower your employees with a pay card. Get started today!