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It's Payday for City Summer Workers

The city may be on the road to working out its payment kinks in its Summer Youth jobs program.

Today was the first payday for students who started work on June 16, and at least 10 participants were paid right on time.

That hasn't been the case in years past, when students confronted demagnetized payment cards, ATMs that wouldn't give them their money, and other problems. Last summer, nearly 600 workers weren't able to draw their wages on time.

"I'm very surprised. I'm also very glad, though," said Cherita Whiting, whose son is in the program and has had problems in the past.

Whiting also supervises 10 summer youth workers, all of whom were paid on time. "It only took three years to get it right," Whiting said.

This year, the city switched to a Visa debit card payment system, which administrators hoped would be more reliable and cost-effective.

The cards still carry potential fees for withdrawals -- workers can use ATMs in the Allpoint network for a free withdrawal once per biweekly pay period, but anything beyond that carries a standard ATM usage fee.

The D.C. Wire contacted Whiting because she was quoted in the June story about the debit card changes. But if you have your own story, good or bad, about the payments, leave it in the comments section.

Michael Birnbaum

By Marcia Davis  |  July 1, 2008; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  City Life  
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JPMorgan is proud to be the Visa debit card issuer for Washington, D.C.'s 2008 Passport-to-Work Summer Youth Program. Debit cards provide young workers with a safe, convenient, and dependable alternative to payroll checks. On July 1st, cardholders received their first payments. Here are some tips on how best to use the card.

• There are 98 Allpoint ATMs in D.C. Visit and type in your zip code to find the Allpoint ATM nearest you.
• Cardholders receive 1 free ATM withdrawal at Allpoint ATMs per biweekly pay period. A standard fee of $1.50 is applied thereafter.
• Cards can be used surcharge-free at thousands of D.C. retail outlet that accept Visa debit cards, such as restaurants, grocery and clothing stores.
• Cash-back is available surcharge-free at most retail outlets that accept Visa debit cards. Check with each store on their policy as some may not offer cash back at all.
• JPMorgan offers free 24/7 bilingual customer service available by toll-free number, Internet and automated voice response.
• There are no cardholder enrollment or maintenance fees.
• There are no fees when funds are deposited onto the card.
• There is no longer a $7.50 fee for replacement cards.
• Should a replacement card be needed, there is no $17.50 fee for expedited replacement card shipping.

Unlike last year's program, if a card is lost, the cardholder must call 1-866-795-3890 to cancel the missing card and request a replacement card. A new card will be issued within 30 minutes and shipped overnight to the Department of Employment Services. The card will NOT be mailed to the cardholder's home. The card must be picked up at the Department of Employment Services.

JPMorgan offered the industry's first payroll card solution in 1987. The company's Payroll Card won the Paybefore Award for "Best Payroll Card Program" in 2007 and 2008.

Posted by: JPMorgan | July 2, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Well it is good to know this systems worked for some. My kid works for DPR and started June 2 and hasn't received a "debit card" nor was she paid. On July 1. Her scheduled payday is July 3. Still no card.

Posted by: lquander | July 3, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I am adding a couple more points to yesterday's posting:

• As an fyi, Allpoint provides nearly three times more ATM outlets than retail banks in D.C. While Allpoint offers 98 surcharge-free ATMs in D.C., the "ATM locator" on the Web pages for various D.C.-based banks show: Suntrust - 29 D.C. ATMs; Bank of America - 25 D.C. ATMs; Chevy Chase Bank - 10 D.C. ATMs.
• Cards can be used surcharge-free to make purchases at thousands of D.C. retail outlets that accept Visa debit cards, such as restaurants, grocery, convenience and clothing stores.
• Cash-back is available surcharge-free at most retail outlets that accept Visa debit cards. Using the cashiers at retail outlets is intended only for small amounts of cash, as the Allpoint ATM should be the main source per pay period for withdrawals. Please note that each retail store sets its own limit in terms of cash-back. For example, all CVS stores in D.C. provide $35 cash-back per purchase. The limit at Target is $40; the limit at Giant and Safeway is $50; and the limit at Harris Teeter is $200. Check with each store on their policy as some outlets, such as clothing stores,may not offer cash back at all.
• The Allpoint Network Web site is open to all cardholders across the country. The site has not been designed specifically for the Summer Youth Program.

Posted by: JPMorgan | July 3, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

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