CurrenC SF

Electronic Payroll: Better for Business, Empowering Workers

We live in an age where technology has revolutionized every aspect of business, including the ability for businesses to pay their employees electronically. Yet more than 67,000 working San Francisco households still get paid with paper checks, saddling workers and employers with extra costs, lost productivity, and higher risks.

By updating to electronic pay solutions like direct deposit and pay cards, businesses can save money, empower lower-income workers, and reduce environmental impact. It’s a small change with big benefits.

Better for Workers

Paper paychecks have several drawbacks. Depositing checks in person wastes time. Funds take several days to clear.Further, unbanked workers often turn to check cashing companies, which charge fees as high as $1,000 per year. That’s money that should go for rent, food, utilities, clothing, savings and other necessities. Also, workers take a big risk by cashing a whole paycheck. A single event, like loss or theft, could leave them helpless until the next payday. Electronic pay solves all these problems, empowering workers by delivering pay directly, immediately and safely.

Better for Employers

By moving to electronic pay, a company can lower payroll processing, printing and distributing costs up to 90%. Also, by depositing wages electronically, businesses can eliminate the headache of lost or stolen checks.Better for the environment. If just 10% of San Francisco’s workers receiving paper checks converted to electronic pay, it would save 5 tons of paper and 44,800 gallons of water each year. It would also reduce greenhouse gases by an amount equal to the annual emissions from 2.6 cars.

Better for the City

All these improvements add up to a better, stronger city. Empowered, financially self-sufficient workers become the anchors of more stable families and communities. They support local businesses, and add to the city’s tax base. Efficient businesses have more money to create jobs and opportunities. And a cleaner environment benefits everyone.

Partners and Supporters

  • Funders:
  • Citibank
  • Visa
  • Levi Strauss Foundation
  • CFED


  • San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
  • United Way of the Bay Area
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Website: