As part of the city's ongoing war against paper waste, the Treasurer's Office unveiled a new plan yesterday to eliminate printed paychecks. The new effort, awkwardly named CurrenC SF like some kind of vitamin supplement, is designed to encourage employers to switch to direct deposit in order to save millions of dollars in checking cashing fees and an estimated 50 tons of paper per year.
City Treasurer Jose Cisneros figures there are 67,000 households in the city that aren't set up with direct deposit and 20 percent of the companies in the city are way behind the times and don't even offer the service. Employers end up spending about eight or ten bucks for every lost paycheck, but employees without bank accounts are hit the hardest — spending up to $1,000 a year on check cashing fees. Mayor Lee, meanwhile, sees the effort as a way to get San Franciscans more involved in their own personal finances.
As part of the paperless payday effort, the city has set up CurrenCSF.org to help employers figure out the ins and outs of direct deposit programs. Folks without a bank account can also sign up to have their paychecks deposited on to prepaid debit cards. Personal finances aside, the new program is the latest in a string of anti-paper initiatives in the city, including the ban on unsolicited Yellow Pages and voter pamphlets.