Direct deposit allows employers to send your paycheck directly to your checking or savings account. Most of the time, this process takes one to three days. You can cut that time in half with early direct deposit, which releases your money up to two days faster. It’s a smart way to access your paycheck funds without a waiting period. Here are 4 banks that offer early direct deposit.
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Financial Services that Offer Early Direct Deposit
Get your paycheck up to two days faster than your co-workers - that’s one of the many benefits of signing up for Chime. The online financial app has quadrupled its profits, thanks to its intuitive direct deposit system.
Many of Chimes users are young and middle-class, as opposed to other financial institutions that target affluent customers.
When you sign up for a direct deposit account, you get access to Chime’s other services. For instance, you can overdraw your account up to $100 without a penalty. The substantial user base has made Chime one of the hottest up-and-coming online banks.
Wealthfront Cash Account
Wealthfront provides easy ways to upgrade your life with its Cash Account. The early deposit feature ensures that your paychecks arrive up to 48 hours ahead of a typical direct deposit. The rapid deposit allows you to earn more interest on your funds.
You can open your Wealthfront Cash Account with as little as $1. The account comes with a free planning tool and tailored advice based on your needs and goals. For instance, Wealthfront will automate investments on your behalf.
You may use any one of Wealthfronts 19,000 free ATMs to access your paycheck. You can also send mobile payments, make purchases with Google Pay and Apple Pay, and deposit checks on your phone. Best of all, the Cash Account has zero fees.
Open an Axos Bank account and stop waiting for your paycheck. The digital bank, formerly known as Bank of Internet USA, has a safe and convenient early direct deposit system. It lets you access your money without delays.
Axos Bank touts its high levels of security and encryption, and its direct deposits are no exception. The online bank ensures that you receive your paycheck on payday. The immediacy reduces the chances of fraud and reasons to worry. Axos Bank's easy-to-use system helps you get a jumpstart paying your bills while making smart choices with your money.
You can receive your payment promptly when you sign up for early direct deposit at LendingClub Bank. The checking account also comes with above-average interest rates and free ATMs worldwide. You can even earn unlimited cash back with your LedningClub Bank debit card.
LendingClub Bank, formerly known as First Trade Union Bank, is a hybrid bank. It has an online and community focus with only one physical location.
LendingClub Bank opened in 1987 but took off in 2013 thanks to a fintech partnership with LevelUp. Two years later, it partnered with Aspiration to launch its high-yield checking accounts. The strategic unions made LendingClub Bank one of the first institutions to offer early direct deposit, mobile payments, and a rewards app.
How We Came Up with the List
A lot of financial institutions offer early direct deposit but didn't make our list. Such organizations include Andigo Credit Union, Varo, and Insight, ranging from traditional brick and mortar banks to digital ones. Our goal is to provide you with the best banks that offer early direct deposit.
The banks we selected center around innovation, convenience, and customer service. These banks are willing to challenge the status quo when it means providing better banking services to customers. It’s not a coincidence that many of our selections are digital banks.
Digital banks serve as the new frontier for banking. The low-overhead costs of running an online organization means that customers get a banking experience that gels with modern technology. Customers don’t have to wait in line for a teller or go to an ATM to make a deposit.
Many digital banks offer more competitive rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. These institutions don't have to pay for physical branch locations. As a byproduct, customers get higher APY and lower fees. Another byproduct of digital banking has been the increase in the number of banks offering early direct deposits.
You are more likely to find a digital bank with early direct deposit than a brick-and-mortar one. There are still a surprising number of global banks that do not offer the service. They include, but are not limited to, PNC, Chase Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
Related: Best Online Banks
What Is Direct Deposit?
Direct deposit involves an employer sending pay funds electronically into a checking or savings account. The process offers a faster alternative to physical money or checks. It uses a network called an automated clearing house (ACH) to move your paycheck from your employer's bank account to your own.
Direct deposit does not require a clearance period, so there’s no waiting for your balance to clear. Your bank will provide you with an electronic receipt to show the deposit. While paychecks make up most direct deposits, they can also include disability payments, Social Security benefits, and tax refunds.
If you want to receive a direct deposit, give your bank name, account number, and routing number to the person making the deposit. If you work for a large company, you’ll want to talk to someone in accounting or human resources. It takes a few days to set up the recurring payment.
All funds are electronic. Your employer will send them at midnight on the due date. Because direct deposit is automated, you will not have to wait to use the money.
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How Banks Process Your Paycheck Early
If you want to understand how early deposit works, you need to know how regular deposits work. While the process appears simple from the outside, it involves a series of intricate interactions between financial institutions. Here are the five core steps:
- Set Up Direct Deposit The chain of events starts with you. You let your employer know that you want direct deposit and provide them with information about your bank account. Many companies have direct deposit forms that they give new employees at orientation.
- Send Payment Notice Your employer will send a payroll notice to its bank before payday. Some people refer to the employer’s bank as the Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI). The notice includes your information, such as your routing number and payment amount.
- Forward Payment Information When your employer’s bank receives the files, they forward them to an ACH. ACHs enable bank-to-bank transfer between various financial institutions. ACHs do not make transfers individually; instead, they process enormous batches of requests at once.
- Forward Payment Information (Again) ACHs organize the payment instructions. You don’t want your payment going to someone else’s bank account, right? ACHs also process this second set of instructions in large batches.
- Process Your Payment Your bank now has the payment information and can process the payment. Getting to this step requires consistent communication between the banks and the ACH. The entire process takes one to three business days.
Early direct deposit follows the same steps. The difference is a tweak in the fifth step. Instead of processing your payment and depositing the check, it reverses the steps.
Your bank makes a gesture of good faith that the paycheck will be valid. To reward its customers, the bank deposits the money before it finishes processing the payment. This action lets you access money faster than usual.
Pros of Direct Deposit
ConsumerCredit.com performed a survey in 2018 and found that speed was the number one reason people used direct deposit. Results showed that 53% of users prefer direct deposit for its immediacy, while 47% of people enjoy it because it's free. Some of the other reasons that users use direct deposit include:
- No risk of losing physical check
- No holds
Direct deposit also saves you time. Once you link your bank account, you never have to drive to the bank and wait in line to deposit a check again. The automated process lets you spend more time on the important things in life.
Cons of Direct Deposit
The speedy and straightforward process does have some drawbacks. For instance, 6.5% of American households do not have a primary bank account, which translates to 14.1 million individuals.
Hispanics and African Americans have disproportionately high levels of being unbanked, with each group hitting double digital rates. The common reasons that people do not have bank accounts is a lack of money. Others do not trust banks or do not have access to reliable financial institutions.
Some other drawbacks of direct deposits include:
- Backdoor attacks from hackers
- Denial-of-service attacks
- Direct-access attacks
- The fact that changing banks is a hassle
Direct deposit may leave you vulnerable to online attacks. Hackers can exploit databases that don't have authentication and bugs to access sensitive information. Make sure to use strong passwords and a password protector to mitigate your risk.
It’s worth noting that these risks are infinitesimally small. You have better odds of getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery than losing your direct deposit to hackers. The Social Security Administration proudly notes that it has successfully delivered every benefits check since accepting direct deposit in 1976.
Related: Is Online Banking Safe?
Is early direct deposit right for you?
People agree on few things unanimously. Early direct deposit is one of them. As long as you have a bank account, it’s an ideal way to receive payments from work or the government. Early direct deposits make your life easier. You get your money on payday without having to wait for it to process. Some prominent financial institutions, like Navy Federal Credit Union, have already made it a standard part of their banking services.
Can I get direct deposit on the weekends?
While you can always find exceptions to the rule, the answer is no—most banks only process payments during business days. If you want to get your direct deposit immediately, you have to do it between Monday and Friday, assuming there isn’t a federal holiday in between them.
What’s the difference between a direct deposit and a wire transfer
Direct deposits and wire transfers serve the same purpose. They get money from Point A to Point B. Both are forms of electronic money transfer that most banks and credit unions offer as a core service. The difference is that wire transfers typically cost money. The price varies between financial institutions, but you can expect to pay $15 to $50. Many people use them as a one-time transfer as opposed to direct deposits, which are recurring payments. Wire transfers are much faster than your everyday direct deposit. Instead of going through the five-step process mentioned above, the transfer goes between banks. The straightforward process allows your money to arrive in a fraction of the time of other options.
Can direct deposits go into my savings?
Yes. Direct deposits can go into checking or savings accounts. All you need to do is provide the proper bank account number to your employer. If you want to change your direct deposit’s location, give your company updated deposit information.
What are the alternatives to direct deposit?
The most obvious alternative is a cash or check. The odds are that both of these options will soon go the way of the dodo and disappear. According to the Times of India, 92% of money exists online, while some employers do not allow employees to receive physical paychecks.
Another option is PayPal, an online payment platform with millions of users worldwide. It lets you buy, sell, and send money without disclosing your financial information. PayPal even enables you to access funds from a debit card or check. The problem is that PayPal charges independent contractors for every transaction. Receivers must pay 2.9% in addition to a 30-cent fee for each transfer.
If you earn $50,000 per year after taxes, PayPal slashes that number to $48,550. You’re paying $1,450 to use PayPal, while direct deposits are free. Western Union stands out as one of the most well-known financial services providers in the world. It opened in 1851 and moved more than $300 billion in 2018 alone. The company also operates in more than 200 countries and handles 130 currencies. Western Union has the same drawbacks as PayPal. You have to pay for a service that many places offer for free. Western Union makes sense if you want more superior speed than regular direct deposits.
Signing up for early direct deposit is a no-brainer. It's a safe, convenient, and expedient way to get your paycheck with almost no downside. The real question is: Which one of the banks that offer early direct deposit will you choose?
You can't go wrong with any of the options on our list. Each financial institution has unique products and services, though they favor young, technologically inclined users. All that matters is that your bank meets your banking needs when it matters most.
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