CurrenC SF is a new program empowering San Francisco’s businesses and workers by helping them adopt modern, innovative payroll solutions. It’s a program with benefits for workers, employers, the environment, and ultimately, the City of San Francisco.


We live in an age where technology has revolutionized every aspect of business, including the ability for businesses to pay their employees electronically. Yet more than 67,000 working San Francisco households still get paid with paper checks, saddling workers and employers with extra costs, lost productivity, and higher risks.

By updating to electronic pay solutions like direct deposit and pay cards, businesses can save money, empower lower-income workers, and reduce environmental impact. It’s a small change with big benefits.

Better for workers. Paper paychecks have several drawbacks. Depositing checks in person wastes time. Funds take several days to clear.

Further, unbanked workers often turn to check cashing companies, which charge fees as high as $1,000 per year. That’s money that should go for rent, food, utilities, clothing, savings and other necessities. Also, workers take a big risk by cashing a whole paycheck. A single event, like loss or theft, could leave them helpless until the next payday.

Electronic pay solves all these problems, empowering workers by delivering pay directly, immediately and safely.

Better for employers. By moving to electronic pay, a company can lower payroll processing, printing and distributing costs up to 90%. Also, by depositing wages electronically, businesses can eliminate the headache of lost or stolen checks.

Better for the environment. If just 10% of San Francisco’s workers receiving paper checks converted to electronic pay, it would save 5 tons of paper and 44,800 gallons of water each year. It would also reduce greenhouse gases by an amount equal to the annual emissions from 2.6 cars.

Better for the City. All these improvements add up to a better, stronger city. Empowered, financially self-sufficient workers become the anchors of more stable families and communities. They support local businesses, and add to the city’s tax base. Efficient businesses have more money to create jobs and opportunities. And a cleaner environment benefits everyone.


CurrenC SF is a program of the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment, with the generous support and partnership of these sponsors and organizations:


  • Citibank
  • Visa
  • Levi Strauss Foundation
  • CFED


  • San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
  • United Way of the Bay Area
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)


This new initiative will provide everything a business needs to move to a fully electronic payroll. We’ve developed which provides access to downloadable resources, including a complete employer toolkit and step-by-step guide to paperless payroll. The site also offers marketing materials, sample documents and forms, and other tools to help start direct deposit and payroll card programs, educate employees, and learn about best practices.

If you’re interested in learning more about CurrenC SF, please contact Program Manager Jacob DuMez (contact information is below) or visit


White paper (PDF)
One pager (PDF)



Jacob DuMez, CurrenC SF Program Manager