Adp Pay Card Vs Payroll Eft: Which Is Better For Your Business?

Getting paid should be simple and convenient for both employers and employees. With the rise of digital payments, many companies now offer options like pay cards and direct deposit for payroll. But how do you know which is best for your business?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Both ADP pay cards and EFT direct deposit have advantages, but EFT is usually the better option since it allows employees to have their pay deposited directly into their own bank account.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare ADP pay cards versus direct deposit payroll EFT. You’ll learn the pros and cons of each, costs, features, and how to decide which is the right payroll payment method for your company and employees.

What is an ADP Pay Card?

An ADP Pay Card is a type of payment card offered by ADP, a leading provider of payroll and HR solutions. It is a convenient alternative to traditional paper checks or direct deposit for employees to receive their wages.

With an ADP Pay Card, employees can access their funds through ATMs, make purchases in-store or online, and even use the card for bill payments.

How ADP Pay Cards Work

ADP Pay Cards function similarly to a debit card. Once an employer sets up the program with ADP, they provide their employees with the option to receive their wages on a Pay Card. Employees simply need to activate the card, which is typically done through a secure online portal or by calling a designated phone number.

Once activated, the employee’s wages are loaded onto the Pay Card each pay period. The employee can then use the card to make purchases or withdraw cash as needed. The card can be used anywhere that accepts debit cards, making it a convenient and widely accepted method of payment.

Pros of Pay Cards

  • Convenience: ADP Pay Cards eliminate the need for paper checks, which can be lost or stolen. They also provide employees with instant access to their wages, without the need to visit a bank.
  • Financial Inclusion: Pay Cards can be beneficial for employees who do not have a traditional bank account. It allows them to receive their wages electronically and participate in the digital economy.
  • Cost Savings: For employers, Pay Cards can help reduce administrative costs associated with printing and distributing paper checks.

Cons of Pay Cards

  • ATM Fees: Some Pay Card programs may charge fees for ATM withdrawals. It is important for employees to be aware of these fees and choose ATMs that are in-network to avoid additional charges.
  • Limited Acceptance: While Pay Cards are widely accepted, there may be some instances where employees may encounter merchants or service providers that do not accept payment through a card.
  • Lost or Stolen Cards: In the event that a Pay Card is lost or stolen, employees may need to go through a process to report the issue and have a new card issued, which could lead to temporary inconvenience.

It is important for business owners to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of offering ADP Pay Cards to their employees. Considering the needs and preferences of their workforce can help determine whether Pay Cards are the right payment option for their business.

What is Payroll EFT / Direct Deposit?

Payroll EFT, also known as Direct Deposit, is a method of paying employees electronically, by depositing their wages directly into their bank accounts. It eliminates the need for physical checks and allows for seamless and efficient payroll processing.

How Direct Deposit Works

With Direct Deposit, the employer collects the necessary banking information from the employee, such as their account number and routing number. This information is securely stored and used to transfer the employee’s wages to their bank account on the designated payday.

On payday, the funds are electronically transferred from the employer’s bank account to the employee’s bank account, usually through an Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. The employee can access their wages immediately, without having to physically deposit a check or visit the bank.

Pros of Direct Deposit

There are several advantages to using Direct Deposit for payroll:

  • Convenience: Direct Deposit eliminates the need for employees to make trips to the bank to deposit their checks. They can access their funds immediately and securely, saving time and effort.
  • Security: Direct Deposit reduces the risk of lost or stolen paychecks. The funds are electronically transferred, minimizing the chances of theft or misplacement.
  • Cost Savings: Using Direct Deposit can save businesses money by eliminating the costs associated with printing and distributing physical checks.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Many employees prefer the convenience and reliability of Direct Deposit. It provides them with peace of mind knowing that their wages will be deposited automatically and on time.

Cons of Direct Deposit

While Direct Deposit offers many benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Banking Requirements: Employees must have a bank account to receive their wages through Direct Deposit. This may be a barrier for some individuals who do not have access to traditional banking services.
  • Processing Time: It can take a few days for the funds to be transferred from the employer’s account to the employee’s account. This delay may be inconvenient for employees who rely on immediate access to their wages.
  • Bank Fees: Some banks may charge fees for certain types of transactions, such as receiving Direct Deposits. Employers should be mindful of any potential fees that could impact their employees.

ADP Pay Card vs. Payroll EFT Comparison

Cost Comparison

When comparing the costs of ADP Pay Card and Payroll EFT, it is important to consider both the upfront costs and the ongoing fees. ADP Pay Card typically involves a one-time setup fee, as well as monthly maintenance fees.

On the other hand, Payroll EFT may have setup fees but typically does not involve any ongoing fees. It is important to carefully evaluate your business’s budget and financial needs to determine which option is more cost effective.

Features Comparison

ADP Pay Card offers a range of features that can be beneficial for both employers and employees. These include online access to pay stubs, the ability to make purchases with the card, and the option to receive funds through direct deposit.

Payroll EFT, on the other hand, primarily focuses on the direct deposit of funds into an employee’s bank account. It is important to consider which features are most important for your business and employees when deciding between the two options.

Ease of Use Comparison

When it comes to ease of use, both ADP Pay Card and Payroll EFT have their advantages. ADP Pay Card offers a simple and convenient way for employees to access their funds without the need for a bank account.

On the other hand, Payroll EFT allows employees to have their funds directly deposited into their existing bank accounts, eliminating the need for an additional payment method. Consider the preferences and needs of your employees when evaluating the ease of use of each option.

Ultimately, the choice between ADP Pay Card and Payroll EFT will depend on the specific needs and preferences of your business and employees. It is important to carefully evaluate the costs, features, and ease of use of each option to make an informed decision.

Remember to consult with your payroll provider or financial advisor for guidance on which option is best suited for your business.

Which Should You Choose for Your Business?

When it comes to choosing between ADP Pay Card and Payroll EFT, there are several factors to consider. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh them carefully before making a decision. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

Consider Your Workforce

One of the first things to consider is the makeup of your workforce. If you have a large number of employees who do not have access to traditional bank accounts, ADP Pay Card may be the better option. These prepaid cards allow employees to receive their wages electronically, without the need for a bank account.

On the other hand, if the majority of your employees already have bank accounts and are familiar with electronic banking, Payroll EFT may be a more convenient choice.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

It’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option. ADP Pay Card offers several advantages, including the ability to eliminate the need for paper checks and the convenience of instant access to funds.

However, there may be fees associated with using the card, such as ATM withdrawal fees or monthly maintenance fees. Payroll EFT, on the other hand, eliminates the need for physical cards and may have lower associated fees. However, it may also require more setup and ongoing management.

Implementation and Management

Implementing and managing either option requires careful consideration. ADP Pay Card typically requires working with a third-party provider, such as ADP, to set up and manage the program. This may involve additional costs and administrative tasks.

Payroll EFT, on the other hand, may require working closely with your bank or payroll software provider to set up and manage the electronic transfers. It’s important to consider the time and resources required for implementation and ongoing management when making your decision.

Talk to Your Employees

Finally, it’s essential to involve your employees in the decision-making process. After all, they are the ones who will be directly impacted by the chosen payment method. Consider conducting surveys or holding discussions to gather their input and preferences.

Taking their opinions into account can help ensure that the chosen option meets their needs and preferences, ultimately leading to higher employee satisfaction.

Ultimately, there is no definitive answer as to which option is better for every business. The choice between ADP Pay Card and Payroll EFT depends on the unique needs and circumstances of your workforce.

By considering factors such as your employees’ banking preferences, weighing the pros and cons, and involving your employees in the decision-making process, you can make an informed choice that best suits your business.


When deciding between offering an ADP pay card or payroll EFT, consider factors like costs, features, ease of use, and employee preference. For most businesses, direct deposit is the better choice as it allows employees to use their own bank account and has less fees involved.

But in some cases, pay cards may be more suitable for employees without bank accounts or who prefer not to provide bank details. Weigh the pros and cons carefully for your workforce before choosing the right payroll payment method.

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