How Do I Get a Debit Card If I Can't Get a Bank Account?

How Do I Get a Debit Card If I Can't Get a Bank Account?
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A debit card provides real convenience, but those debit cards are typically tied to a bank account. For those unable to get a traditional bank account, the convenience of a debit card often seems out of reach. Fortunately, those without access to a bank account can still enjoy the convenience and safety of a debit card. A number of special programs aimed at consumers who lack a banking relationship make it possible for those consumers to use a debit card even without a traditional bank account.

Contact your employer and ask if a debit card payroll program is available. Employers have been pushing direct deposit for years as a way to cut costs and eliminate paper processing of paychecks, but they have often been thwarted by high numbers of employees without bank accounts. Programs by ADP and other payroll processors allow workers to be paid with debit cards, with the amount of each paycheck automatically posting to the card each payday.

Sign up for the debit card program through your employer. Complete the paperwork and submit it to begin getting paid with a debit card instead of a paper check. Depending on the employer it can take up to two or three pay cycles for the change to take effect.

Visit the money center at your local Wal-Mart store to get information on its debit card program. Wal-Mart has worked with unbanked consumers for many years, and the company's financial arm has a debit card program designed for those who lack bank accounts.

Sign up for a Paypal account (See Resources) to get access to the Paypal debit card. Once your Paypal account is active you can accept payments from other people via credit cards and bank transfers. You can use the debit card linked to your Paypal account to make purchases, and to withdraw cash from ATMs.