Guidance for Card Issuers & Employers to Support Employees Developed in Consultation with Community Organizations


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PURCHASE, N.Y. (December, 13, 2013)MasterCard (NYSE: MA) today released new standards designed to help employees take full advantage of the benefits of having their paycheck electronically deposited onto payroll cards.

The payroll card standards require employers and payroll card providers to offer cardholders greater insight on how to access their pay through educational resources and increased transparency of any fees.  Additionally, the standards ensure the employee has a fee-free way to access their pay and check available balances.

“Payroll cards serve as one way to bring the traditionally underserved into the financial mainstream,” said Ron Hynes, group executive, Global Prepaid Solutions, MasterCard.  “These standards will help ensure that employees not only understand the choices available, but allow them to take advantage of benefits like direct deposit, online shopping and bill payment that had not been traditionally available to them.”

MasterCard developed the new standards in consultation with its customers and partners, as well as community organizations through its Master Your Card and Master Your Card: Oportunidad public education programs.  In the course of this six-month process, the collective group worked with a wide variety of community organizations– ranging from national Latino, African American and Labor groups to local community groups who represent a high percentage of members who are financially underserved.

“MasterCard has been an important partner in our efforts to create guidelines for financial products that are a force for good in people’s lives,” said Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). “We salute the company’s leadership in setting standards to promote a high-quality payroll card market.  Quality payroll cards provide security, convenience and inclusion and can help consumers improve their financial health.”

All new MasterCard payroll card programs will need to meet these standards by July 1, 2014.  Existing programs will have until October 1, 2014 to make any necessary adjustments.

The MasterCard payroll card standards address:

  • Choice – Employees can choose how they are paid – card, direct deposit or other means, as required by law
  • Full Pay – Payroll cardholders can access their full pay for free at least once per pay period
  • Free Access – Free and easy access to account balance information online or via mobile
  • Peace of Mind – Coverage by MasterCard’s Zero Liability guarantee against fraudulent  use and the ability to freeze a lost or stolen card and have funds reissued on a new card
  • Simple Disclosure – A new, easy-to-read disclosure table will outline the services and fees associated with the card
  • Consumer Education – Payroll providers must provide employers and their employees with resources to help them understand the features and benefits of their payroll card, such as MasterCard’s Your Money Smarter program

“As the son of working class parents, I know first-hand that every dollar counts for working families,” said Fabian Nuñez, chair of Oportunidad’s Advisory Board and former speaker of the California Assembly.  “We have a collective interest in making sure prepaid payroll cards are implemented in a way that maximizes benefits for workers.  I applaud MasterCard for not only listening, but including input from multiple groups in establishing these standards.”


About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Master Your Card is a public education program by MasterCard® that educates consumers, small businesses and state and local governments about how to get more from their money using prepaid, debit and credit cards – access points to the economically empowering electronic payments network. For more information about Master Your Card, visit

Master Your Card: Oportunidad is a coalition that aims to help the Latino community understand the full value of electronic payment technology to promote upward mobility and further financial inclusion for families and small businesses in the United States. For more information about

Master Your Card: Oportunidad, visit

Media Contacts:

Jim Seth