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Direct deposit saves employee time and UTPA money
By Gail Fagan, Informational Writer II
381-2741
Posted: 06/18/2003
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Did you know The University of Texas-Pan American offers employees a free benefit that can save you time, help you budget and save the University money in an era of budget crunching? The benefit is direct deposit of a University payroll check.

Direct deposit is the electronic transfer of a payment from a company or organization into your checking account.

According to National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) – an organization that represents more than 12,000 financial institutions and promotes electronic payment applications – 71 percent of employees nationwide that have access to direct deposit take advantage of it. UTPA direct deposit use is estimated at 60 percent of current employees and 50 percent for new hires.

NACHA claims companies spend from 50 to 60 cents more per payment by paper check rather than direct deposit. Studies also show consumers may spend the equivalent of three workdays each year going to the bank to cash their paychecks.

In fact, effective September 2003, a UTPA employee’s wait to receive their check on campus may become longer when University departments will no longer be able to pick up paychecks for their salaried employees. In this cost saving move by the University, employees will be required to personally pick up their paychecks at the Payments and Collections office, located in the Student Services Building, Room 115.

Pete Tijerina, a video and film specialist with the External Affairs Division, still picks up his check because he likes his money to be personal.

“Opening the envelope at the end of the month is like a reward for the work I have done,” he said.

According to Leticia Lizarraga, a UTPA payroll supervisor, there are many conveniences to direct deposit.

“You don’t have to wait in line in the bank lobby or at the drive-up and your check can be deposited in different accounts, checking and savings for example, even if they are at two different banks,” Lizarraga said.

Both Lilia Treviño, administrative secretary in the Office of Research, and Marisol Guerra, administrative secretary in the Graduate Studies Office, definitely prefer direct deposit of their checks. “I use direct deposit because if I just have cash I would spend it all,” Guerra said.

Mark Saenz, interim personnel director, said the use of direct deposit results in automatic cost saving for the University.

“A check that is picked up goes through a lot of hands unlike an electronic transfer. Direct deposit eliminates a lot of the manual processing,” Saenz said.

Other benefits include earlier accessibility to your pay because there is no waiting for a check to clear and having a check go directly to the bank regardless if you are at work on pay day.

Saenz said errors on direct deposit are minimal because a test run is conducted on the account prior to a new employee’s first check.

James R. Langabeer, vice president for Business Affairs, said in many federal programs – such as the Veterans Administration – direct deposit has become mandatory.

“Direct deposit is definitely the wave of the future. It reduces the amount of paper in our offices and helps further modernize our administrative processes,” he said.

To enroll in direct deposit, an employee must sign an authorization form and provide a voided check. Direct deposit authorization forms are available for downloading at http://panam2.panam.edu/www/personnel/techicl.htm or can be obtained from the Personnel Services Office. Earning statements, which show the same information that appears on a paycheck stub, may be accessed through the Web for Employees at http://employeeweb.panam.edu using your employee identification number and pin number obtained upon hiring.

For more information, contact the Personnel Services Office at 956/381-2551 or e-mail http://w3.panam.edu/www/personnel/

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