The hard part is over: you got the job.
Now, you need to answer one last question: direct deposit or check?
According to a recent survey, direct deposit is the average American’s #1 way to get paid.
In fact, over 93% of U.S. employees get compensated via direct deposit.
Conversely, just 5% of American workers get paid via paper check. In general, studies show that paper checks are slowly going extinct.
But popularity only provides half of the answer.
In this short blog, we’ll take a look at the top three benefits of direct deposit, comparing the payment method to paper checks so you can make the most informed decision possible.
Direct Deposit: (Briefly) Explained
If “direct deposit” is an unfamiliar term, here’s a quick definition to help: direct deposit is an electronic transfer of funds from a payer’s account to a recipient.
If you ever see the acronym EFT — “electronic funds transfer — that’s simply another term for direct deposit.
To receive payment via direct deposit, you’ll need to provide your employer with your bank account and routing numbers.
Once payment is initiated, it will typically arrive in your account within 1 to 3 business days.
The Top 3 Benefits of Direct Deposit
Direct deposits are fast, secure, and in most cases, free.
1. Get Paid Faster With Direct Deposit
Direct deposit is more time-efficient than paper checks in two primary ways.
First, you’ll never have to do anything to receive payment.
Whereas a physical check requires cashing — and waiting days (and sometimes weeks!) for it to arrive in the mail — direct deposit happens automatically and instantly.
Once your direct deposit account is set up, funds will consistently appear in your account on whatever pay period your employer established (i.e., weekly, biweekly, or monthly).
Second, you’ll have access to your funds as soon as they’re deposited.
2. Enjoy Increased Security With Direct Deposit
While direct deposit payments are more efficient than paper checks, they’re also more secure.
Because they’re issued electronically, they can be easily tracked and verified. Also, they can’t be lost, misplaced, or stolen, as can easily happen to a physical check.
While consumers love direct deposit, so do many government institutions.
Even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prefers to use direct deposit to issue tax refunds!
3. Yes, Direct Deposit is Free
If your employer offers direct deposit as a payment option, it will be 100% free to you.
All you’ll need is a bank account to receive the electronic funds.
There’s truly no financial cost or downside to using direct deposit.
Direct Deposit vs. Checks: Two Drawbacks to Paper Payments
If you prefer hard copies of your financial records, paper checks can provide that.
And if you’re accustomed to manually depositing your funds — whether at a physical bank location or through your bank’s smartphone app — it may seem best to stick with the status quo.
However, take a minute to consider the following disadvantages of using paper checks (especially in light of the convenience and safety of direct deposit).
1. Physical Checks Can Expose Users to Fraud
Every physical check has one glaring flaw: they show the user’s bank account and routing numbers right on the front.
That’s a liability for your employer, as it is for you and any personal checks you decide to write.
Beyond that, physical checks circulate through the mail, traveling through many modes of transportation and passing through many people’s hands along the way.
Checks, therefore, can be lost, stolen, damaged, and even forged.
Statistics affirm that in 2020, checks were the payment method most susceptible to fraud, accounting for 66% of criminal activity.
2. Checks Are Generally Less Convenient
Physical checks leave you at the mercy of many variables at multiple stages of the payment process.
For starters, you have to actually receive the check, which is dependent on things like the postal service, traffic, and even the weather.
If you’ve noticed that mail delivery is a bit unreliable these days, you’re not alone. The U.S. Postal Service has admitted to slowing down the process to help save money.
If your finances are a bit tight these days, waiting on physical checks may simply be too much of a risk.
When it comes to getting paid, there are three areas that matter most: efficiency, security, and reliability.
Direct deposit excels in each of these categories, ensuring you receive your money on time, every time, and with no hassle along the way.
At uLink, we’ve built our remittance payments on the same philosophy: to help you support your loved ones quickly, safely, and affordably.
Thanks to our global network, you can send money to over 156,700 locations in 67 countries. And with our great exchange rates and fees starting as low as $0, you can send more money home than ever before.
Miles from home — just moments away with uLink.