CFED Scorecard

Financial Assets & Income

Outcome Measures

Income Poverty Rate

Asset Poverty Rate

Asset Poverty by Race

Asset Poverty by Gender

Asset Poverty by Family Structure

Liquid Asset Poverty Rate

Liquid Asset Poverty by Race

Liquid Asset Poverty by Gender

Liquid Asset Poverty by Family Structure

Extreme Asset Poverty Rate

Net Worth

Net Worth by Race

Net Worth by Income

Net Worth by Gender

Net Worth by Family Structure

Unbanked Households

Underbanked Households

Households with Savings Accounts

Consumers with Subprime Credit

Borrowers 90+ Days Overdue

Average Credit Card Debt

Bankruptcy Rate

Policy Priorities

Tax Credits for Working Families

State IDA Program Support

Lifting Asset Limits in Public Benefit Programs

Protections from Predatory Short-Term Loans

Additional Policies

Income Tax Threshold

Tax Burden by Income

Prize-Linked Savings

Paperless Payday

Trend Indicators

Change in Net Worth

Change in Asset Poverty

Change in Liquid Asset Poverty

Change in Consumers with Subprime Credit

Change in Average Credit Card Debt

Businesses & Jobs

Housing & Homeownership

Health Care


CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

Paperless Payday

Reports & Graphics


States that either expressly permit or can be interpreted as permitting employers to eliminate paper checks and offer employees a choice between direct deposit and payroll cards, 2012.


Employees who receive their pay through direct deposit are nearly twice as likely to save some portion of their income as individuals who are paid in cash. Direct deposit also helps people avoid check cashing fees and trips to a bank; it guarantees that employees receive their wages automatically each month; it is fast and safe and eliminates the risk of stolen checks; and it saves employers money by avoiding the cost of printing and mailing checks. 

Despite the advantages of direct deposit for both employers and employees, employers in some states have been reluctant to move to exclusive payment of wages through electronic options (i.e., to eliminate the option for employees to be paid via paper check) either because state policy is silent on employer obligations or because state policy specifically requires employers to offer a paper check option. 

In states where state policy is silent on the issue of electronic wage payment, federal law and guidance should apply. The Federal Reserve Board’s interpretation of federal Electronic Fund Transfers Act states that employers may require direct deposit of wages provided that employees may choose the institution that will receive the deposit. In these states, policymakers should issue guidance affirming that employers may offer employees the choice between receiving their wages via direct deposit or a payroll card without also having to offer a paper paycheck option. In states where electronic wage payment statute specifically requires employers to offer a paper check option, state policy should be amended to remove this requirement.

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Paperless Payday

StatePaperless pay permitted?
Alabama  Yes 
Alaska  No 
Arizona  Yes 
Arkansas  No 
California  No 
Colorado  Yes 
Connecticut  No 
Delaware  Yes 
District of Columbia  No 
Florida  Partially 1
Georgia  No 
Hawaii  No 
Idaho  No 
Illinois  No 
Indiana  Yes 
Iowa  Partially 2
Kansas  Yes 
Kentucky  Yes 
Louisiana  Yes 
Maine  Yes 
Maryland  No 
Massachusetts  Yes 
Michigan  Yes 
Minnesota  No 
Mississippi  Yes 
Missouri  Yes 
Montana  No 
Nebraska  Yes 
Nevada  No 
New Hampshire  No 
New Jersey  No 
New Mexico  No 
New York  No 
North Carolina  Yes 
North Dakota  Yes 
Ohio  Yes 
Oklahoma  Yes 
Oregon  No 
Pennsylvania  No 
Rhode Island  No 
South Carolina  Yes 
South Dakota  Yes 
Tennessee  Yes 
Texas  Yes 
Utah  Yes 
Vermont  No 
Virginia  Partially 3
Washington  Yes 
West Virginia  No 
Wisconsin  Yes 
Wyoming  No 


Data provided through email correspondence with the American Payroll Association in November 2012. CFED thanks Cathy Beyda of the American Payroll Association for her assistance in developing and reviewing the data.


1. It is unclear whether employers may eliminate paper checks for all employees. However it does appear that after July 1, 2009, employers may make paperless pay a condition of hire for new employees.

2. Employees hired on or after July 1, 2005 may be required, as a condition of employment, to participate in direct deposit. Accordingly, these employees also can be given the choice between direct deposit and payroll cards without also being offered a paper paycheck option.

3. Employees hired after January 1, 2010 may be given the choice between direct deposit and payroll cards without being offered a paper paycheck.

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