Wells Fargo: no more free checking

Wells Fargo ends free checking in more states – $7 fee to be nationwide.

Wells Fargo has ended free checking in six more states, and has announced that it’s part of a plan to end free checking nationwide. In a Reuters article today, the bank stated that the next states will be on the East coast, part of the branches gained in their Wachovia acquisition.Customers will have to jump through hoops to cut costs:

Existing customers in Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania will be required to pay the monthly fee for the “Essential” checking account, unless they keep a $1,500 minimum daily balance or make direct deposits of $500 each month, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman said Thursday.

Bank of America recently denied an announced fee hike, but as more banks increase prices to make up for lost overdraft fees, it’s guaranteed to spread. At Directo, we keep costs low, and pass the savings on to our customers. We’ve seen more previously banked individuals open Directo paycard accounts, proving that we were right – Directo paycard accounts are not just for the unbanked. More and more, it’s the thrifty way to bank.

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Come see Directo Paycards at the Nationa

Come see Directo Paycards at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago!

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Are Crooks Writing Phony Paychecks Against Your Payroll Account?

The latest payroll fraud tale comes from New Hampshire, where a woman acquired a Dunkin Donuts paycheck and used it as a template to create her own. She’s headed to jail, as are the man who supplied the check, and another woman who helped cash the checks. Read the whole story here at the UnionLeader’s website.

Protect your company from schemers. Go electronic and quit sending paychecks out into the world. Direct deposit, with a paycard program to help all employees participate, is proven to reduce, and in most cases eliminate, paycheck fraud risk.

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Scary news: Debit use is up, but check washing and check fraud still a problem.

Paychecks are riskier than ever.  To speed deposit and decrease lobby and drive-through traffic, banks have installed ATMs that accept deposits electronically. Just insert the check and an image of it pops up with a request to verify the amount shown. The money is deposited to the account, and reconciled later. Your stolen paycheck could be run through a stranger’s account, operated by a stolen debit card, and you (and the account owner) wouldn’t find out until days later.

Far more common is for a crook to note your account and bank routing number and order new checks, or to “wash” the stolen paycheck and enter new information on it. Higher dollar amounts, new payee name – both are common ways to loot your company’s bank account.

How to keep from giving strangers your company’s banking information? Direct deposit, of course. And with a solid paycard program to allow unbanked workers to participate, you can cut your fraud risk in a single payroll period. It’s easier than you think to avert a paycheck fraud disaster.

Here’s a link to a story about some home-grown check fraud.

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We love our debit cards but not our banks

Msnbc.com financial blogger Allison Linn hits a nerve with today’s post about consumer’s love of the convenience of debit cards, but not the fees that banks want to attach to them. After the outcry over rising bank fees that large banks imposed to recover lost interchange income, banks eased off, but are roaring back with different fees, this time hidden as charges for perks such as expedited online bill pay.  Be wary. And remember that for many, the answer is a payroll card account such as Directo’s: simple to use, with low, transparent fees.

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1. Paycards are an easy way to handle finances, and they’re a benefit that you can offer employees, at no cost to you.

2. No credit check! Directo doesn’t check credit. All can participate in direct deposit.

3. Changing bank rules – A growing number of paycard users are dissatisfied bank customers, looking for the ease and security of a bank account.

4. The U.S. government mandates electronic payments only, and beginning this spring all benefits will be paid electronically.

5. Eliminate rising payroll delivery costs. Whether you use couriers, mail, or gas for your car, costs are headed skyward – end them with a Directo paycard program!

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