Convenience and security with direct deposit
Time to break out the champagne! May is National Direct Deposit Month. And what better time to celebrate? With the academic year ending and summer around the corner, many people are scheduling vacations.
If you’re one of them, are you going to have to plan around being in town to get your check when it’s issued? If you do, you’re among the 32 percent of faculty and staff who don’t have their pay deposited directly into their bank accounts. This article is for you.
Maybe you’ve heard it before — direct deposit of your pay is convenient, safe and reliable — and still aren’t convinced. Or maybe, you’re convinced and haven’t signed up yet. Regardless of which camp you’re in, we invite you to take another look and reconsider.
What is it?
According to electronicpayments. org, direct deposit is “the electronic transfer of a payment from a company or organization into an individual’s checking or savings account.” As long your bank is among the 12,000 financial institutions that are members of the Electronic Payments Association, and most banks are, you can use direct deposit.
Direct deposit has been around for more than 30 years and is offered by over 80 percent of large U.S. companies to their employees. Ninety-seven percent of people who use it are very satisfied.
People have lots of reasons for not signing up for direct deposit. Nancy Hinchcliff, assistant vice president, Human Resources-payroll manager for the University, has heard them all. She said the top objection is that most employees don’t feel like they’re getting paid unless they go to the bank and receive the cash in their hand.
In response, Hinchcliff said that regardless of their personal reasons, people can enjoy the benefits of direct deposit, while still keeping their income information confidential, visiting the bank and having cold, hard cash in their hands. The advantage is that they don’t have to come to campus to pick up their paper paycheck and then go the bank to deposit it.
With direct deposit, your pay goes straight into your bank or credit union account on payday. Money is transferred electronically and passes through fewer hands than a check. You receive a pay summary, which looks like your check stub and tells how much was deposited in your account. It also shows deductions for taxes, benefits and other obligations.
If you don’t want others to know how much you make, consider opening a separate account to receive the pay deposit. You can withdraw whatever cash you want, and only you will know what the balance is.
With most local banks, including Philadelphia Federal Credit Union and PNC Bank, the money is available first thing in the morning of payday — automatically. That’s earlier than if you receive a paper check and deposit it. You don’t have to wait — either for your check to arrive in your department or for the check to clear after depositing it in the bank.
You have immediate access to your money. If you want cash, you can go to one of the many cash machines that are on the Temple campuses. And, if you enjoy a periodic visit with your local bank teller, you still can go to the bank and cash a check — but on your own timetable.
The primary differences between receiving a paper check and direct deposit are safety and simplicity. Your pay goes directly into a bank account. No paper. No lost, misplaced or stolen checks. No delays. On payday, your pay appears in your account — no matter where you are — at work, at the beach or in a Paris café. Even if you’re out of the office traveling on Temple business, you still can access your money, anywhere in the United States and many cities around the world.
Another advantage of direct deposit is that you have the flexibility to have your entire pay directly deposited into an account or split it among several different accounts.
If you’re a regular full- or part-time faculty or staff member, you can direct your pay into up to five separate different accounts. (Temporary workers, including work-study and student workers, can have their pay deposited to only one account.)
According to Hinchcliff, some financial institutions even allow people to pay their mortgages or car loans with direct deposit through a unique checking account.
Since paying off your loans on time is one of the best ways to build an excellent credit rating, using direct deposit can help you get there.
Check with your lender for details.
Many banks offer low- or no-fee checking accounts when you use direct deposit. That means more money and flexibility for you.
Benefits to Temple
Temple’s cost of processing checks goes down and the quality of service goes up with direct deposit. “The number of lost and stolen checks is reduced, and we have fewer stop payments and reissued checks,” Hinchcliff said.
The University is assured that employees receive their money on time, because checks won’t be inadvertently sitting on the desk of someone in the department. And transactions can be traced to guarantee that money went into the right account. Errors rarely occur, but when they do, they’re easy to fix.
Be sure to visit several tables at the upcoming Temple University Health Fair that will take place in the Liacouras Center. PNC Bank, the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union and the Payroll Management Department will all be available to answer your questions and provide forms and information.
|Frequently asked questions
What is direct deposit?
It is the electronic transfer of pay from the University into an employee’s checking or savings account.
How do I know how much was deposited in my bank account?
Instead of receiving a check on payday, you will receive a non-negotiable pay advice, which is a summary of the same information as your current paycheck provides.
Who is eligible?
All Temple employees can take advantage of direct deposit.
How do I sign up?
Complete a direct deposit authorization form and return it to Payroll Management Department. See www.temple.edu/hr/departments/payroll/DirectDeposit.htm for forms and instructions. Please allow up to two pay cycles for direct deposit to begin.
When can I sign up?
You can sign up or change your direct deposit any time during the year.
I’m going to be vacation this summer. Can I get access my pay while I’m away?
With direct deposit your pay will be deposited automatically into your bank account. Access to your money depends on the type of account you have. If it’s an account with a debit, cash or credit card, you can have immediate access to your pay on payday, no matter where you are. Check with your bank for details.