When the U.S. government decided to provide funds to struggling Americans in the pandemic, it needed a way to move a lot of money to a lot of people quickly. While direct deposit information from tax returns helped, some people who most needed assistance weren’t in the system.
So, the Department of Treasury used a combination of paper checks and prepaid cards from a program it calls the U.S. Debit Card. That program was part of an existing contract that allowed the government to use prepaid cards for disbursements.
IPA members Fiserv and Metabank are instrumental in that program, and in this episode, we talk with Kim Ford, Senior Vice President for Government Relations at Fiserv about how the cards work and how they came to be used for stimulus funds.
Prepaid cards have been a tool for benefits distribution for years, and the Economic Impact Payments show how they can quickly be implemented for new programs when the need arises.
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