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1 Moving Away From Paper Checks Introducing the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Go Direct and Direct Express ® Card Campaigns.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Moving Away From Paper Checks Introducing the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Go Direct and Direct Express ® Card Campaigns."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Moving Away From Paper Checks Introducing the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Go Direct and Direct Express ® Card Campaigns

2 2 Summary More than 10 million Americans still receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments by paper check. Check delivery is susceptible to unforeseen events and circumstances that can delay or prevent people from receiving their Social Security or SSI payment. Recent hurricanes – including Katrina, Gustav and others – meant thousands of Americans were unable to access their federal benefit checks after they were evacuated or lost mail service.

3 Electronic Payment Options Switching to electronic payment is a simple but significant step people can take to protect themselves before disaster strikes. Treasury encourages federal benefit check recipients to switch to one of two safer, more convenient payment options: –Direct Deposit. The Go Direct campaign helps people with bank accounts make the switch. –Direct Express Card. People without bank accounts now have a new safe, user-friendly option: the Direct Express ® prepaid debit card. 3

4 4 Benefits of Electronic Payment Safer –In 2008, 485,000 Social Security and SSI paper checks were reported lost or stolen and the payments had to be reissued. –In 2008, the mail delivery of 72,000 Social Security and SSI paper checks was delayed. Easier –Payments go straight into your bank account with direct deposit, or onto the Direct Express ® card – so people can access their money faster. More control –Payments arrive on time, every time. Money arrives at the same time every month, and it can be accessed from virtually anywhere, so it’s available even during a disaster or evacuation.

5 5 Go Direct Campaign The Go Direct campaign motivates people to choose direct deposit. More than 1,400 partners – financial institutions, community-based organizations, aging agencies, faith-based organizations, police departments and elected officials – spread the word about Go Direct. Since Go Direct began several years ago, more than 2.5 million Americans have switched to direct deposit.

6 6 The Direct Express ® card Nationwide, nearly 4 million Social Security and SSI recipients do not have bank accounts and still receive their payments by paper check. The Direct Express ® Debit MasterCard ® card is a prepaid debit card designed for people who receive federal benefits by paper check. Cardholders may use the card to get cash, make purchases and pay bills at thousands of locations nationwide. Anyone who currently receives Social Security or SSI can sign up for the card.

7 7 Benefits of the Direct Express ® Card Safety: No need to carry large amounts of cash, no risk of lost or stolen check. Convenience: Make purchases anywhere Debit MasterCard ® is accepted. Get cash at retail locations, banks and credit unions, and ATMs throughout the world. Control: Money is automatically posted to card accounts on payment day each month. There is no need to wait for a paper check.

8 8 How much does it cost to use the Direct Express ® card? Most services are free. There is no cost to sign up for the card and no monthly fee The services provided free of charge include: –Purchases at retail locations, cash back with purchases, or cash withdrawals through tellers at MasterCard ® member bank or credit union locations –One ATM cash withdrawal for each deposit each month at a Direct Express surcharge-free network ATM –Balance inquiries at ATMs, by phone or online –Optional notifications of deposits by phone, email or text message –Low balance alert (amount set by cardholder) –Access to the toll-free customer service number 24/7

9 Partnership Opportunities Add information about direct deposit and the Direct Express card to your workshops, trainings or public speaking engagements on preparing for disasters, especially for senior citizens or individuals with disabilities. Publish an article in your newsletter or on your Web site about the advantages of electronic payments. Distribute free informational materials (fliers, etc.) to the people you serve. The campaign offers a disaster preparedness tool kit that includes everything from talking points, information for newsletters, Web banners and more. Post links to Go Direct and Direct Express on your Web site. 9

10 10 We invite your partnership… The Treasury relies on partners like you to help federal benefit recipients make the switch to a safer, easier payment option. Thank you!

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