Misconceptions about direct deposit are keeping many people from using it, a survey for the New York Clearing House Association found.

For example, about half the female and a third of the male nonusers said they want real paychecks because direct deposit would make them combine their funds with their spouses'.

"You can certainly have money split and deposited to multiple accounts," said Barbara Utendorf, vice president at Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati. "You can automatically have a set amount go to a joint account" and have the rest of the money to another account, she said.

The clearing house says the survey suggests education and marketing efforts should be intensified

The survey was conducted in March by Wirthlin Worldwide, which interviewed 800 New York area consumers by phone.

Despite continuing resistance, direct deposit has been making some strides in the New York area, Wirthlin found. About 47% of those surveyed used the service, compared with about 38% in 1995.

However, there are signs of stagnation as well. About 73% of businesses are offering direct deposit this year, but this is only a slight rise from last year's 72%, according to George Thomas, senior vice president at the New York Clearing House.

He said improved promotional efforts could help in this area as well.

Consumers not using direct deposit cited various reasons, including mistrust of technology, fears giving employers access to bank accounts, and reluctance to give up the satisfaction of receiving and depositing a paycheck.

But Mr. Thomas said the number who wanted to keep money separate from their spouse was the most surprising.

"What this tells us is that control over finances is a serious issue between men and women," he said.

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