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WV state employee pay to go electronic

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CHARLESTON, WV -

West Virginia state employees will not see printed paper payroll checks much longer.

State Trasurer John Perdue and State Auditor Glen Gainer announced Aug. 9 a new system for all state employees' wages to be paid electronically, which they expect will save the state $500,000.

The West Virginia Pay Card system will be offered to all state employees who currently receive paper payroll checks.

"Those workers who don't use direct deposit will now have an alternative way to access their money immediately, with no additional costs or hassle," Perdue said in a news release.

State employees who have not yet signed up for direct deposit through their payroll administrator by Oct. 1 will automatically receive a West Virginia Pay Card, which is a prepaid Visa card that can be used wherever Visa debit cards are accepted, including ATMs. The state worker's wages will be deposited onto the card, and each transaction used with the card will automatically deduct from its balance.

The state currently drafts about 4,000 state payroll checks per pay period, which amounts to less than 8 percent of the total payroll that is distributed.

"The process to receive your full wage to the penny won't be any different than taking a paycheck to a bank teller window, except the Pay Card avoids your check cashing fee," Gainer said in the news release.

The pay card program will be administered with no cost to state taxpayers, according to a news release, and employees do not have to undergo a credit check to activate the card.

There are no account overdraft fees associated with the cards, and online statements as well as text message access to account information will be available as well as Visa fraud protection.

West Virginia labor laws state that no employer or existing employee can be required to use or accept direct deposit as a method of receiving wages, nor can any employer or existing employee be required to use or accept payroll debit card accounts as a method of receiving wages.

The United States Social Security Administration mandated a system similar to the pay card in March, according to Perdue's news release. The U.S. Treasury Department currently requires all federal benefits to be paid electronically.

According to Perdue, eliminating paper-based payroll is part of West Virginia's transition to the fully integrated administrative system wvOASIS. Eliminating paper payroll checks is expected to save the state more than $500,000.