How do you pay students and recent graduates when 10 percent don’t have bank accounts?

Posted April 12, 2018 by


SHRM18 Blogger GraphicI have learned a lot over the years about millennials, and more recently, Gen Z, and how employers can and should recruit and engage them. Recently, however, I learned something new.

I was recently offered the opportunity to be one of the official bloggers for The Society for Human Resources Management national, annual conference, being held in Chicago in June 2018. I felt honored and thrilled about the opportunity to learn from presenters, moderators, panelists, and exhibitors prior to the conference. I learned something about millennials from Alicia Blanda, managing partner of ATM at Work and exhibitor at #SHRM18

Alicia is a new contact for me, and I deliberately reached out to her and a number of other presenters, moderators, panelists, and exhibitors to learn new things in the HR space. Despite being in touch daily with many knowledgeable and wise people in the talent acquisition space, the opportunity to be an official SHRM blogger opened the door for me to seek out voices of those who aren’t as well known but who have just as much to contribute. 

ATMs, employers and millennials

Alicia Blanda of ATM at Work

Alicia Blanda

I hope and expect to hear more from Alicia, who will be exhibiting at SHRM for her company, ATM at Work. When I initially reached out, I was hoping to hear about products, services, or processes related to college recruiting, particularly any programs that take a school or major agnostic approachAlicia couldn’t help me in that area, but she brought to my attention an issue that I had little knowledge of but which fascinated me.

Very few of us are fortunate enough to have the financial resources that we want. Many don’t have the resources they need. And many of those who are struggling the most are the youngest members of the workforce: millennials and Gen Z’ers. By now, millennials range from college-aged into their late 30’s. They’re the largest single generation in the workforce. That’s right, there are more millennials in the workplace than Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers. Right on the heels of millennials are members of Gen Z, the oldest of which are just leaving high school and entering the workforce or college.

Watch my presentation “New Strategies to Engage Gen Z  and Other Modern Candidates”

So what do millennials and Gen Z have to do with Alicia? Her company works with employers to put ATM’s into workplaces. The key is that they are surcharge-free. Put your card in, withdraw money, and there is no added fee. That might seem nice but not critical for those who find the typical $3 charge an annoyance. But now put yourself in the shoes of the worker being paid well below the poverty-line, AND has massive student loan payments, AND has no bank account.

Millennials don't all have bank accounts and need cashWhat? Who has no bank account? Well, 10 percent of millennials. Remember, the oldest millennials graduated 15-20 years ago. They have spouses, kids, cars, and homes yet 10 percent of Millennials don’t have bank accounts.

Also read: Attract students and grads with your wellness program, especially financial wellness

If you’re an employer with millennial and Gen Z workers, you almost certainly have employees without bank accounts and so are likely paying them with paycards. Those without a bank account don’t have the option of withdrawing cash surcharge-free from their banks’ ATM’s because, well, they don’t have banks. If they withdraw cash twice a week, that’s 104 withdraws a year and, at $3 a withdrawal, that’s $312 a year. Before tax, that’s about $400. If you earn $10 an hour, that’s an entire week’s worth of pay just to cover the damned surcharges. Now do you see the importance of these ATM’s to your millennial and Gen Z employees?

Some might think that tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z’ers don’t use cash and instead pay using debit cards, credit cards, Venmo, etc. Well, they do but, according to the Federal Reserve, the most common payment method for purchases under $20 is good old cash. In addition, according to Alicia, “the less someone makes, the more they rely on cash. And guess who uses cash more than any other group in the U.S.? Millennials.”

Large employers — and many small- and medium-sized ones — should investigate how many workdays a year their employees are losing to ATM fees. If your math shocks you as much as mine shocked me, make sure to talk with Alicia at #SHRM18. Whether ATM at Work is the right partner for your workplace is something that you and she can figure out, but don’t assume that you’ll be hit with big fees. There are no fees for larger employers. Well, almost no fees. You will need to pay for the electricity used by the ATM machine after you plug it in. 

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Posted in Advice for Employers and Recruiters, Career Advice for Job Seekers, Salary, Scholarships and Finances | Tagged Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,