What Are The Benefits Of Using A Payroll Card In Agriculture?

Agriculture and food processing are some of the last industries to move away from paying people with paper checks. In the United States, around 19.7 million jobs are related to the agriculture and food sectors. Many workers are still unbanked, which makes it hard to implement 100% direct deposit and workers may resist change--they trust paper checks and know how to turn them into cash.

Mauricio holding a Ganaz Payroll Card in an apply orchard in winter

Mauricio holding his Ganaz MasterCard® Payroll Card in Washington.


For obvious reasons, there's nothing like a payday for agriculture workers. Although the world is progressing by leaps and bounds, the ag industry is still unable to move to direct deposit for most of its workforce. Fortunately, payroll debit cards offer a convenient way to issue wages via direct deposit. However, we are finding that some farmworkers have never used a credit or debit card before and thus have an understandable fear of switching from paper checks to payroll cards. To overcome those fears and possible resistance from farmworkers, we’re breaking down the advantages of payroll pay cards.

What Is a Payroll Card?

Payroll cards allow farmworkers to receive their pay electronically without setting up a bank account. They work much like debit cards. Employers load the cards with money (Spanish) on payday for the usual pay period, and employees can use it to withdraw cash or shop around town or online.

Around 5.4% of US households are unbanked - they do not have or do not qualify for a regular bank account. Unfortunately, most farmworkers are in the same boat.

However, payroll cards offer a seamless way to access wages without the need for traditional bank accounts. Farmworkers can receive their salary anywhere, anytime, without hassle.

Employers paying employees via payroll cards must continue to give pay stubs to employees. Some payroll software offer electronic paystubs, and fewer pay card programs do the same. If, however, a service doesn't provide one, an employer has to issue a printed pay stub that includes their hours, piece rates, wages, deductions, and other relevant information.

Benefits of Payroll Pay Card for Ag Employers

The benefits to employers are straightforward, savings in money, time, and resources needed to process and distribute traditional paper paycheck to multiple farm locations. Eliminate costs from check fraud, postage for mailing checks, and replacement of lost or stolen paper checks. On top of that, there are time savings in accounting when reconciling payroll. Not all cards are built the same though, before selecting a payroll card provider drill into other key factors specific to agriculture, we drilled into those in our newsletter How to Choose the Best Payroll Card for Farmworkers.

Benefits of Payroll Cards for Farmworkers

For a farmworker, there is nothing more inconvenient than standing outside check-cashing stores for long hours.  On top of that, workers are required to pay a fee to get their checks cashed. Returning home with cash in their pockets is yet another trouble. What if they encounter a mugger on their way home?

Luckily, payroll debit cards allow employees to receive their well-deserved salary seamlessly. We'll discuss some pros of payroll cards below.

Convenient to Use

Farmworkers with payroll cards (Spanish) can receive their funds immediately. They do not need a bank account to control their money. Instead, they can use the card for standard purchases.

If cardholders need some cash in hand, all they have to do is find a nearby ATM and take money out. No more waiting in long queues and no more paying additional costs to receive their hard-earned salary.

Take it from Mauricio, a crew supervisor overseeing the pruning of an apple orchard in winter. When interviewed about his Ganaz Payroll Card, Mauricio shared his thoughts on his paycard.

Pues se me hace más rápido porque ya no tengo que ir a mi banco a sacar en efectivo, pago con la tarjeta [...] es algo más sencillo, más rápido.

“Well, it seems faster to me because I don’t have to go to my bank and withdraw cash, I can pay with the card [...] it’s simpler, faster.”

- Mauricio Bruno, Crew Supervisor, NWFM


Offer Greater Security

Perhaps one cannot do anything if someone steals your wallet from you - your money is gone. The same cannot be said for payroll cards. If a farmworker loses their card, nobody can access it. The cards have a unique PIN code that only the cardholder knows - similar to a debit and credit card.

So, they only need to notify payroll card customer service regarding their lost card. They will block the card right away and provide them with a new one.

Also, payroll cards are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)(Spanish). Therefore, they have fewer forgery options and more recovery alternatives. So, as long as they use payroll cards, their money remains safe (Spanish).

More Transparency

Payroll cards allow users to track all their account records, unlike check cashing. Some payroll card providers allow for transaction notifications via text message. One can access transaction and statement histories to know where they might be leaking money. It allows cardholders to see where they are spending money and alter their spending habits accordingly.

So, more transparency makes cardholders budget-conscious, which is a plus. It motivates farmworkers to spend money wisely, giving them strong financial health.

No Check Cashing Fee

Farmworkers receive their salary after endless hours of hard work. What could be worse than paying to receive those same wages they have earned? When farmworkers cash their check without a bank account, they have to pay a fee for it; an average of 3.11% of the check, according to FDIC. However, a payroll card honors their hard-earned money. Cardholders are not required to pay additional costs to make purchases or to take cash out when they use ATMs in the network.

For example, say their weekly paycheck is $600. At a 3% check cashing fee, farmworkers would pay $18 a week. If they work all year, that is $936 a year they are paying in fees just to cash their checks! With a payroll card, they are able to withdraw money for $0.

Receive Instant Funds

Payday can get delayed due to natural disasters like strong winds, heavy rains, and blizzards – or the paycheck was accidentally sent to the wrong field location. Such problems keep farmworkers from cashing their check physically. Most commonly though, farmworkers have to wait for long periods of time to pick up their check and cash their check. However, payroll cards offer a digital system, and they receive funds immediately. Farmworkers do not need to worry about picking up their paycheck after a long, tiring day. Instead, they are already carrying their wages in their pocket with a payroll card.

Mauricio also shared his experience on the matter:

[Con cheques] se hace una fila de algunos 20 minutos a 30, y con la tarjeta llega uno a un cajero, esta desocupado, saca uno [efectivo], o pasa uno adentro [del banco] y más rápido.

"[With checks] you have to wait in line 20 to 30 minutes, and with the card you go to an ATM, it’s available, you withdraw [cash], or you go inside [the bank] and it’s faster.

- Mauricio Bruno, Crew Supervisor, NWFM


Shop Anywhere, Anytime, Online or In-store

Since payroll cards work like debit cards, farmworkers have the option they never had before - online shopping. Cardholders can enjoy the convenience of purchasing goods from the comfort of their home. Because they have access to their wages 24/7, they can even shop in-store, pay bills, or eat at their favorite restaurants without carrying any cash on hand.

Mauricio concluded by sharing his overall opinion about his Ganaz Payroll Card.

Ha funcionado muy bien y para mis compras no me la han rechazado, simplemente lo que voy a comprar a lo que esta depositado en la cuenta, la uso, y trabaja bien.

“It’s worked very well for my purchases, it hasn’t been declined, I simply make my purchases within what has been deposited in the account, I use it, and it works well.”

- Mauricio Bruno, Crew Supervisor, NWFM


Ganaz Mastercard® Payroll Card Program

Our Ganaz Mastercard® Payroll Card (Spanish) offers an incredible alternative to the traditional check-cashing process where ag employers can reap the benefits of direct deposit like other employers do in many other industries. We dug deeper into that in our Most Frightening Payroll Expenses newsletter.


We appreciate the hard work farmworkers do to provide for their family and seek to make the wage-receiving process easier and more manageable for both the ag employer and the farmworkers. Read below to see how our payroll cards work for cardholders.

Withdrawing Cash With Payroll Card

There are several ways to withdraw cash with our payroll card. Here's how:

  • Withdraw money with any ATM that supports Mastercard.

    • Additional charges may apply.

  • To avoid paying fees, access one of the 37,000+ Moneypass® ATMs.

  • Withdraw at a local bank through a cash advance.

    • The teller may ask for a government-issued identity card for that purpose - they check if signatures match the card.

    • Not all banks accept cash advance transactions, please ask a local branch.

  • Request cash back at grocery stores.

    • Merchants have a limit typically below $100.

    • Cashback is a practical way to get smaller cash amounts while doing regular shopping.


Fraudulent Activities Prevention

We use several ways to prevent fraudulent activities. First, our cards contain a chip that is far less prone to errors and fraud than non-chip cards.

Second, cardholders receive a WhatsApp or text message notification as soon as a transaction is made using their payroll card. This helps farmworkers keep track of all their transactions. So, in case farmworkers experience suspicious activity through their card, they will receive a notification right away.

If farmworkers find themselves caught up in fraud, our program complies with federal consumer lending regulations. We take the responsibility to resolve the issue for them, and they would not be held responsible in any way. They simply have to report the fraud by contacting our bilingual customer service team.


Use the Card In Other Countries

The good news is farmworkers can use the payroll card anywhere, irrespective of their geographical location. We allow easy cash withdrawal in most foreign countries, including Mexico. However, they would have to pay a small fee for the interchange rate to US Dollars. Nonetheless, we are building a low-cost digital remittance program for cardholders to transfer money to other countries at the lowest possible rates.

Contact Customer Service Anytime

Cardholders can reach out to our bilingual customer service at any time. We try our best to resolve their issues and offer maximum support. If they are located inside the US, they can dial 888-803-6408 to talk to a bilingual customer service representative. Those outside the US can call 1-707-640-6408.

We believe in the importance of good customer service and how it adds to the overall customer experience for both the ag employer and farmworkers.

Final Words

Paychecks are outdated, considering the fast-paced world we live in today. The process is time-consuming and prone to delays. Fortunately, payroll cards allow a smooth cash withdrawal process regardless of location saving farmworkers hundreds of dollars in fees.

Farmworkers can shop at a grocery store, pay at a gas station, make money transfers, and more with our Ganaz MasterCard Payroll Card. We acknowledge the painstaking efforts of people working in the agriculture sector and seek ways to make their lives easier.



The Ganaz Mastercard® Payroll Card is issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Mastercard International.