Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Paycards rules changed in Virginia

Virginia has cleared the way for mandating direct deposit, allowing employers to pay their workers with a paycard if the employee has not supplied bank account information for direct deposit of payroll. The paycard must allow for a free withdrawal or transfer per pay period.

According to the Richmond Sunlight,
"Currently, payment via prepaid debit card or card account requires the affirmative consent of the employee, though such consent is not required if the employee has not designated a financial institution to which payment by electronic automated fund transfer could be made and the employee is employed at an amusement park."
Directo paycards are the ideal solution for Virginia's employers, fulfilling all of the legal requirements in addition to providing outstanding service. Now all employers can take advantage of the payroll savings that direct deposit, maximized by Directo's robust paycard program, can bring!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day 2009 - what can you do to help?

The "homepage" of Earth Day 2009 is, which inspires readers to take action and "create a billion acts of green." The site suggests ways to help, from the local (change out incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescents) to global (support clean water efforts all over the planet).

We at Directo are proud to be part of the Go Green movement. Eliminate paychecks and paystubs, and you'll make a significant impact. The nifty calculator at Pay It Green
figured out my paper and energy savings if I had only 10 bills and paid 10 employees:

By switching to electronic bills, statements, and payments, you can conserve the following resources in 1 year:
Paper 3.7 pounds of paper saved
Water 36 gallons of wastewater prevented from discharging into lakes, streams and rivers
Gasoline 4.8 gallons of gas saved by not mailing your bills, statements, and payments
Greenhouse Gases 148 pounds of greenhouse gases avoided
This amount of greenhouse gas is the equivalent of: 146 miles not driven in your car
2 trees planted (and grown for 10 years)
20 square feet of forest preserved from deforestation

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Are you Paying It Green?

A recent email from WACHA quotes interesting stats from NACHA:

  • Almost 22 million employed Americans still don't have access to Direct Deposit for their pay. According to PayItGreen, if those employees used Direct Deposit, annually we would save 8.7 million pounds of paper and avoid releasing 25 million pounds of greenhouse gases into the environment. April has been established as PayItGreen Month to coincide with Earth Day, which in celebrated this year on April 22.

The PayItGreen Alliance is a coalition of financial services companies, led by NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association, committed to educating consumers and businesses about the positive environmental impact of choosing electronic payments, bills and statements instead of paper. These facts are the result of a study commissioned this year by PayItGreen on the "positive environmental impact of getting paid electronically by Direct Deposit."

WACHA's email notes that "...although most large companies offer Direct Deposit for payroll, there are still opportunities for them to increase participation from their employees. Even small- and medium-sized businesses can reduce their carbon footprints by paying their employees via Direct Deposit instead of by paper check. If a business that employs just 300 people and issues paychecks every two weeks switched to Direct Deposit, it would save 121 pounds of paper and avoid the release of 346 pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in one year."

You can check out the environmental impact of your own business by using the Direct Deposit Environmental Calculator on

"What large and small companies don't realize is that by offering Direct Deposit and maximizing participation, they not only are helping to save the environment, they are also saving their companies significant money," said Angela Ceccarelli, vice president of marketing for HSBC Payments and Cash Management in New York, and a spokesperson for PayItGreen.

Directo payroll cards can help your business achieve total direct deposit, by allowing all employees to participate, regardless of credit history or "bankability." Use Directo's online payroll savings calculator to see how much your company can save.

Businesses can go beyond direct deposit by paying bills electronically, and by switching to electronic bills and statments, all of which an also be used by consumers. To help customers increase their savings, Directo now offers electronic paystubs. Find out more - send an email to Jim McCarthy (

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

An ATM skimmer, deconstructed.

You've probably heard the warnings about ATM skimmers, the little devices that can be put on an ATM to read your mag stripe and capture your account info.

This blog in the Netherlands has taken an ATM skimmer apart and shows in detail how it's put together. I thought I'd be able to spot a fake, but it's scary how real it looks. AT the ATM, look for anything out of the ordinary, such as mismatched paint, scratches, and ill-fitting components. If it looks like your cousin Larry made it in his garage, then it's suspicious. Luckily, ATMs serviced by banks have little chance of being hacked this way. Amazing that this one seems to be located on a street.

Click on each picture for a clear, larger version of the image.

Here's a picture of the device removed from the ATM:

and this is a closeup of the faceplate:

There's a tiny camera mounted inside of it. The aperture is where the man's middle finger is. While it swaps your magnetic stripe info, it also captures your fingers keying in your PIN.

See the camera lens hole?

And here's a shot of the ATM with the fake piece in place. Scary, isn't it? If you can read Dutch, head over to the original blog, which you can find here, as well as photos of the gadget's guts.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Not afraid of paper checks? You should be.

The economic downturn is exposing crooks that had managed to escape scrutiny until now. Belt-tightening has caused businesses to examine process and procedures, trying to find ways to cut costs, and they're finding phantom employees, receipt skimming, fake vendors - all bobbing to the surface like bodies in a horror movie lake.

Here's an interesting article by CPA Timothy Dayles about how to address risk in businesses. The article, which first appeared in "Smart Business Cleveland" in 2007, lists ways that businesses can assess risk.

Checks are vulnerable to fraud at every stage, from the box of blanks in your supply closet to your distributed payroll checks, all the way to the canceled checks you may still get back in the mail. Thieves can make new checks with your existing information, wash a payroll check and fill new amounts and payees on it, even sell your banking information. You can cut paycheck risk completely with a Directo paycard program.

Directo provides secure online enrollment, eliminates the need to reconcile, makes payroll corrections easier and does away with the risk of lost checks and fraud. It's FREE to the employer, and employees appreciate that Directo never checks credit, and that the robust paycard program lets them access their account information online or by telephone, gives them 24/7 access to their money via ATMs, retail point of sale, and electronic billpay, and all the benefits of direct deposit without ever having to step into a bank.

Give your company a big dose of security. Call 770.810.6502 - Jim McCarthy will answer your paycard questions, and your Directo paycard program can be online in just days.

No obligation. No cost. No risk. Today, those are sweet words indeed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thought you understood who the Unbanked are? Think again!

I recently read a synopsus of a report by Aite Group LLC. It's titled "Debunking the Myths About the Unbanked and Underbanked".

The article written by their research group, illustrates the fact that Underbanked people are not unbanked for cultural or attitudinal reasons yet for more practical reasons. Credit problems and cost issues seem to be the drivers in a study performed in Aite's survey with check cashing customers.

As a result, it's up to the marketer to present a better price/cost solution for this consumer.

Directo serves this marketplace with a low cost, convenient and safe payroll card at the worksite. For over 10 years, Directo has been 'carving out a niche' helping low income, unbanked people obtain access to basic financial services such as ATM, POS and mobile financial offerings.

Directo's commitment is to offer its program with savings of 50% or more over traditional check cashing services and is a viable alternative for serving this segment of the population. It's program are also less costly that Wal Mart's walk-in services