INNOVATIVE PAYNET PAYROLL NETWORK ENTERS TENTH YEAR

May 7, 2003

Successful CCANY-founded Program Brings Innovative Financial Services
to Tri-State Area

NEW YORK, NY, May 7, 2003 -- More than 400,000 payroll checks were cashed last year in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region for consumers who did not have to spend time waiting in a line at their local bank. By using an employer-supported service called PayNet, these consumers are able to get paid at any of more than 500 convenient locations.

PayNet, which is celebrating its 10th year of operation, is a network that uses the infrastructure of licensed check cashing store locations in the tri-state area to connect workers to their pay in neighborhoods near their homes and jobs. The Check Cashers Association of New York (CCANY), a founding member of the PayNet payroll network, points to the service as a prime example of how the check cashing industry is evolving to serve a broader range of consumer financial services needs.

 “PayNet is a joint venture between leading banks, employers and the financial service center industry to meet a basic need for workers in the region to have quick and convenient access to their pay. For ten years, PayNet has provided employers throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with creative and convenient payroll services, while cashing hundreds of thousands of employee paychecks,” said Matt Bardach, president of David’s Financial Corporation and president of CCANY.

PayNet reduces traffic at banks during busy periods, while it enables employers to offer employees an option to direct deposit. For employees, the service is free and means they have much great flexibility to collect their pay.

PayNet, created in 1994, represents a combined effort of more than 500 licensed check cashing locations in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, Connecticut and New Jersey. Through PayNet, businesses outsource portions of their payroll services and all of their check cashing requirements. By handling marketing, contracting, administration and billing, PayNet offers a service that links the combined resources of 500 neighborhood financial service centers.  PayNet enrolls employers who would like to offer citywide or regional payroll services to their employees. 

Banks that are partners in the PayNet system include HSBC, J.P. Morgan Chase, Fleet, Citibank, Bank of New York, Sterling and Signature. Numerous employers are signed up with the program, including Cablevision, Wendy’s and Mount Sinai Hospital. As part of the PayNet system, through a contractual arrangement employees of the City of New York receive a discount on check cashing services at CCANY member locations.

“We developed PayNet for the benefit of our member banks’ corporate customers and their employees,” Bardach said. “Our infrastructure is uniquely positioned to provide payroll solutions for banks, companies and institutions. Many employers need an alternative to direct deposit for employees who want paper payroll checks and CCANY created a pioneering program that provides value-added services for employees. Our members are often in more convenient locations and open more hours than traditional banks and credit unions. You couldn’t ask for a better win-win solution.”

Once an employer joins PayNet, employees can use any of the more than 500 PayNet outlets to cash payroll checks free of charge at locations close to work, home, or anywhere in between. The financial service centers that act as PayNet locations also provide a multitude of transaction-based financial services. In addition to check cashing, customers can buy money orders, send and receive money transfers, and pay bills such as telephone, gas, electric, and cable. Postage stamps, phone cards and transportation fare cards, are also available at select locations.

“PayNet offers greater convenience to the employee who needs access to their payroll check with the least amount of hassle,” Bardach said. “PayNet has made a commitment to fill the “Face-to-Face” cash access void and our network is uniquely positioned to provide fast, accurate and reliable services locally. This saves the consumer time and money, that’s why it has become so popular.”

The Check Cashers Association of New York, founded in 1957, is a trade organization with more than 500 members representing non-bank financial service centers across New York State. CCANY is the leading voice on legislative, regulatory and business issues for New York’s check cashing industry. CCANY members provide vital access to essential financial products and services in many neighborhoods. These financial service centers have served their communities for over fifty years and throughout this period have had an unimpeachable record of financial stability and regulatory compliance. 

Customers count on CCANY members for check cashing services, money orders, electronic bill payments, money wire transfers, automatic teller machine access, payroll payments, electronic tax preparation, prepaid debit cards, public transportation fare and token sales, postage stamp sales and numerous other services.

According to the New York State Banking Department, CCANY members cashed $14 billion in checks last year. At 1.4 percent, the check-cashing fee in New York State is the lowest in the nation. In 2001, CCANY and its members were recognized as the “Check Cashers of the Year” by Cheklist magazine and the Financial Service Centers of America for the many community service programs the group provides.

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Note:  Prior to May 2004, the Financial Service Centers of New York (FSCNY) was named the Check Cashers Association of New York (CCANY). Consequently, press releases and articles during that time period reflect the organization's CCANY name.