The Elizabeth, N.J., grocery chain Wakefern Food Corp. has agreed to offer Check2Card, a service from Metropolitan National Bank of New York that lets people to convert their paychecks into prepaid cards.

Metropolitan National said last week that Wakefern plans to offer the service at some of its PriceRite stores in Bridgeport and West Hartford, Conn., and in Providence, R.I. (Wakefern also operates grocery stores under its ShopRite brand name.)

The free service, offered through Metropolitan National's CashZone subsidiary, transfers the value of users' paychecks and most government-issued checks to a CashZone prepaid Visa-branded debit card, the bank said.

Mark R. DeFazio, Metropolitan National's president and chief executive officer, said in a press release that Check2Card helps consumers save money by avoiding check-cashing fees.

The service "is an enormous first step toward the financial mainstream for previously underserved consumers," Mr. DeFazio said.

The $550 million-asset Metropolitan National operates four branches in New York.