When we’re doing a majority of our shopping, the pinnacle of the experience usually comes down to a choice between two things: cash or credit. However, that ignores the fact that plenty of people use prepaid cards supported by major financial institutions. They look like credit cards, but act more like gift cards; how exactly do they work? ADP is one such financial organization that supports prepaid cards, and if you’re the owner of one (be it through MyCard or otherwise) we’re going to give you some handy login and access tips that will help you to better manage that money.
After all, prepaid cards do require their own specific best practices for better money management.
Quite a few misconceptions surround prepaid cards, from how they can be used to their safety. Many people are admittedly atrocious at keeping track of their current balance, as well, which can lead to a host of other different problems. However, prepaid cards are used far more frequently than you’d think, and due to their similarities to credit and debit cards, they’re actually fairly easy to wrangle.
Sometimes, people voluntarily put money into a prepaid card that they can then use in the same way that everyone else does when paying with plastic. On other occasions, certain promotions can reward consumers with prepaid cards. Most of the time, these prepaid cards are branded by one of the major credit companies, like Visa or Mastercard. For people working in retail, they’re indistinguishable from other cards, unless one looks closely. They have a 16-digit number across the front, a 3-digit security code on the back, and if they’ve been specially prepared for a specific customer, they might even have someone’s name on the bottom.
However, the care and management of the assets available on a prepaid card are wholly different than how you’d treat a debit or credit card.
The Aline card by ADP is one of the most popular forms of prepaid card for people in the United States. It’s common, remarkably easy to use, and the only tools that ADP offers to help customers to manage their Aline card are a breeze to access. However, getting signed in can throw some people for a loop fairly often (hence, why we’ve arrived at this topic.) Even if one is taking on a prepaid card in order to be more financially responsible, it’s still important to learn how to properly manage the assets on a prepaid card.
That’s what we’re going to be about in this article. We’ll help you to get signed into ADP’s online card management services, and also show you some of the best practices for safely and responsibly using a prepaid card.
What is a Prepaid Card?
As stated above, there’s a good chance that you might not be able to tell the difference between a prepaid card and a debit or credit card; at least not at first glance. They come with all of the same details–the signature strip, the number, the security code on the back, and usually, brandings from a major bank or credit company, like Visa or Mastercard.
However, that’s where the similarities end. With a credit card, you work through an established line of credit, pay interest on outstanding charges, and receive a bill every month for outstanding charges (upon which a minimum payment per month is due.) Debit cards, on the other hand, are always linked to a specific bank account. When you make a charge with your debit card, the necessary money is drawn straight from the bank account. Rather than paying for a purchase on credit, the vendor receives their money immediately.
Prepaid cards are different from both of these. Though they may have all of the same features, they don’t work on either a credit line or with your existing bank account assets.
How Does a Prepaid Card Work?
A prepaid card works exactly like it sounds. Money is preemptively put on a balance attached to the card. When you make a charge with the card, cash is subtracted from the balance. As with debit cards, the vendor making the sale often receives the money immediately. When there isn’t enough money on the card to pay for a purchase, it’s either paid in part (thereby zeroing out the card’s balance) or the card is declined.
Because there’s no line of credit attached to the card, you don’t have to pay interest on any money spent. And because it’s not attached to your bank account or any other existing assets, it’s relatively safe to use, and foolproof when compromised. The only money at stake on a prepaid card is the money contributing to its current balance.
This makes prepaid cards an ideal choice for people trying to be more fiscally responsible. Overspenders can’t overspend, and there is no “max” amount like there is with a credit card. You can only spend what’s on the card, and after that, it’s useless until the balance is manually adjusted with more funds.
What is the ADP Aline Card?
The ADP Aline card something of a variation on the usually prepaid card paradigm. In most cases, it’s a solution between employers and employees that’s used as an alternative to regular, printed paychecks.
The Aline card is a prepaid Visa card that is usually registered and managed by employers. The ADP product-end management is usually dealt with by a company’s human resources department, while the cards themselves are assigned to employees. Instead of receiving money via paycheck, it’s instead adjusted to the balance of the ADP card.
Advertised as a low-cost alternative to usual payment methods, the ADP Aline card allows an employer to put money directly into an ADP account that’s tied to a card. The employee can then use the card and its funds the same way that they would money received through a paycheck. The only obstacle and potential difficulty come from logging into the ADP Aline management tools, a process which we’ve outlined below.
Login to ADP Aline
If you already know your ADP username and password, the next part is a cinch. Simply head to the online login portal. Fill in the necessary entry fields and you should be given direct access to your account.
However, in the case that you’ve forgotten (or simply don’t know) this information, a few extra steps may be in order before you’ll be able to log in. Some employers may require you to sign in as a new ADP user upon first receiving and using your card, which is an entirely details process. Look to the ADP Aline support site for the answer, or simply follow along here.
You’ll begin by activating your card here, after which you’ll enter the requisite information necessary for setting up your accounts, such as your name, contact information, and more. If there is any information that you don’t know that the ADP Aline system requests, your best recourse is to contact the HR department of your employer and request the information.
Managing the ADP Aline Card
The best practices that usually accompany prepaid cards also apply to the ADP Aline card, of course. They’re simply augmented by any additional measures and suggestions on part of a person’s employer or their company’s HR department.
Though they’re entirely different than debit or credit cards, prepaid cards are vulnerable to many of the same things that other types of cards are. Because they’re used to make purchases, in the same way, they can be exploited in the same way. In addition to that, prepaid card fraud can be notoriously difficult to manage and backtrack, which makes it doubly important that a person is responsible with the card and where they use it.
When your debit card information is fraudulently acquired and used, all that’s needed is the card number, the security code on the back of it, and other tertiary information that can be gleaned just from looking at it. Even though the ADP Aline card isn’t attached to a bank account, the balance on the card can still potentially be stolen and used. Be careful with where you choose to use it, and also with how much money is maintained on the card’s balance.
We hope that this article has shed some light on a few different topics, some of them specific, some of them less so. Accessing the login portal for ADP Aline cardholders is a fairly easy process, but properly managing the assets contained on a prepaid card is less so. For many large employers, these prepaid cards are a very efficient way to pay employees, but that efficiency is largely dependent on all of the systems working, from card usage to card management. Whether you’re using MyCard, Visa, or the newer ADP Aline card system, the login procedure should give you no trouble as long as you have the required information.
If you have any remaining questions about the ADP Aline system or prepaid cards in general, be sure to ask us in the comments below!