- Employer Benefits
- Employer Products & Support
- Cardholder Benefits
- The Paycard Experience
- About Skylight Financial
- Contact Us
Kathy Hebert, business manager of Ascension Parish Schools, will remember the chaotic start of the 2005 school year for a long time. Days after school opened, Hurricane Katrina forced hundreds of thousands of families to flee for safety. Many of them stopped in Ascension Parish.
Amid the chaos of scrambling to arrange buses, books, teachers, and classrooms for a huge influx of evacuees, another change happened at Ascension Parish Schools without disruption. That school year, Hebert chose Skylight Financial to take over management of the teacher supply card program, which provides the teachers of Ascension Parish with a special debit card preloaded with up to $200 to spend on classroom supplies. Though the program was popular, the original vendor's performance was unsatisfactory.
"Over the three years we worked with our original vendor, things went from bad to worse," Hebert said. "However, it's been a real pleasure dealing with Skylight. We tell them what we would like to do, and they find a way to do it. Because of our prior experience, we knew what improvements were needed. Skylight was able to come through with everything we asked of them."
Some of the changes involved the use and appearance of the cards. "Our original vendor could not put our school name on the cards," Hebert said. "This caused a problem of accidental use by some teachers who had other credit cards that looked similar. Thanks to Skylight, the cards now have our name and logo printed on them."
From the moment the school district adopted the Skylight supply card program, Hebert and the teachers of Ascension Parish have been quite pleased.
"The Skylight team really worked hard on this project," Hebert summarized. "They listened to our needs, developed a timeline, and followed it. They are easy to work with and extremely professional. It's obvious that there is a lot of technical expertise and commitment to service behind the Skylight brand."
Cleveland Electric Company, an Atlanta-based electrical construction company, discovered the high cost of distributing paper checks to the 480 of the company's 600 employees who work at various jobsites throughout the Atlanta area. The costs add up quickly when you factor in mileage for the supervisors to drive to pick up checks, plus drops in productivity during the supervisor's absence, paycheck distribution, and employees' long lunches to deposit their checks.
With an average of 20 job sites, Cleveland estimated that the unnecessary costs of paydays totaled over $100,000 annually. So, it's easy to see why Bill Mellon, Cleveland's CFO, was eager to get all employees on a direct deposit system. "We wanted 100% participation in order to get more productivity out of the field force," said Mellon.
In 2004, the company adopted a new policy of direct deposit for pay. However, some employees had no banking relationship. "We didn't know that there was anything like Skylight Financial in the market," said Mellon, "so I went around to several banks trying to establish a central company account and then issue multiple ATM cards for different employees on that one account. The banks weren't interested in creating and providing that service." One bank, however, offered a solution. SunTrust, Cleveland's primary bank, partnered with Skylight Financial to offer an ATM-accessible payroll debit service to the bank's business customers.
Implementation of the payroll card program went smoothly, according to Cindy Mistretta, Cleveland Electric's payroll manager. Each employee was offered the option of having paychecks deposited to his or her existing bank account or to a new Skylight Financial card. Signing up was as simple as faxing a signature card from the job site. Mistretta went to several sites to sign up groups of employees. "The very first guy I signed up is still working here and still using his Skylight card," she said.
"The construction industry has high turnover," Mellon noted. To maintain its workforce of 600, Cleveland must hire about 2,000 people every year. Skylight Financial, Mellon believes, was the catalyst that enabled Cleveland Electric to move to 100% direct deposit. The payroll department realized a drop in complaints about payroll issues since the company stopped issuing paper checks.
"Skylight has become a routine part of our processing procedure. If someone comes to work here and needs a direct deposit alternative, they automatically get paid on a Skylight card," he said. "All employees get their pay deposited electronically, and the pay stub is mailed to their homes. We have solved the paycheck pick-up problem."
With 63 locations in several states, Premier Restaurant Management Group, a franchisee of KFC and Taco Bell restaurants, found the administration of paper-based payroll to be challenging. They incurred overnight mail expenses, excess bank charges, and lost productivity due to replacing checks and making payroll adjustments. They needed help.
After selecting a payroll system to manage its growing payroll requirements, Premier made direct deposit a primary initiative intended to reduce costs and improve business efficiency. Payroll cards were the answer to achieving complete direct deposit implementation in the Premier organization.
Although Skylight is the recommended payroll card account provider for Yum! franchisees (KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's, and A&W restaurants), Premier performed an independent analysis of payroll card providers and their product features and benefits. Furthermore, they analyzed program technical and implementation requirements. Premier selected the Skylight program because it offered no liability, no administration requirements, and multiple benefits for team members.
Within 10 days of contract award, Skylight was able to quickly and effectively implement the Skylight Debit Card Account and Online Wage Statement programs. The combination of these programs has resolved payroll distribution cost issues. Today, Premier has reached their goal of paperless payroll. Mr. Ed Fox, IT/purchasing manager, has been pleased with all aspects of the Skylight program. Mr. Fox noted, "With very short notice, Skylight was able to quickly implement a seamless program for us. From simple training materials, enrollment packets, and Skylight's dedicated customer care responsiveness, the Skylight solution has been effective for Premier!"
As the nation's first hamburger chain and a recognized leader in multi-state quick service restaurants, White Castle has a long history of being an industry innovator. However, with 400 restaurants and 12,000 team members across a large geographic area, White Castle was challenged with the administration of a weekly paper-based payroll. They needed a way to process payroll more efficiently with a more convenient, low-cost distribution of checks to their team members. Ultimately, they were searching for an electronic payment program that would allow them to maintain their in-house payroll system, set up quickly and easily within their restaurants, and enable them to remain in compliance with all state wage and hour laws.
As White Castle conducted a review to optimize their payroll system, they considered implementing a paycard solution. While their goal was to promote greater efficiencies and reduce their expenses across a growing business, their greatest challenge was finding a solution that the team members would trust to distribute their wages. Following a pilot program featuring Skylight competing against one of the top ten U.S. banks, White Castle selected Skylight to provide the payroll card services for all but one of its regions.
The Skylight program was attractive because it provided a seamless payroll solution with no additional software required and no liability, while still presenting employee benefits to team members. White Castle was able to achieve 100% of their direct deposit goals quickly due to Skylight's expert implementation team and thorough program materials. Carla Perkins, White Castle's payroll manager, commented, "Skylight did a tremendous job of assisting us with the rollout. Their personalized enrollment materials and exceptional train-the-trainer approach allowed us to implement a complete direct deposit solution in our restaurants without requiring someone from corporate to be there in person."
Perkins specifically mentioned Skylight's Customer Support department as an important factor in the project's overall success. "Skylight has a great Customer Support team. Not only are they available to answer program questions, but they are also able to assist with escalated cardholder issues. I really appreciate the fact that the Customer Support team stays in touch with me to ensure all of our needs are being met, even though we are beyond the initial rollout of our paycard program."