(Editor’s note: The Lincoln County News is publishing this press release from the U.S. Department of the Treasury due to local concerns that recipients may discard economic impact payments that look like junk mail. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers more information about how to use the cards and how to request a replacement for a card that was accidentally discarded. Go to tinyurl.com/ycsuv6e7.)
This week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS are starting to send nearly 4 million economic impact payments by prepaid debit card, instead of by paper check. Card recipients can make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs, and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts without incurring any fees. They can also check their card balance online, by mobile app, or by phone without incurring fees.
The economic impact payment card can be used online, at ATMs, or at any retail location where Visa is accepted. This free, prepaid card also provides consumer protections available through traditional bank accounts, including protections against fraud, loss, and other errors.
“Treasury and the IRS have been working with unprecedented speed to issue Economic Impact Payments to American families. Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”
Treasury has already delivered more than 140 million economic impact payments worth $239 billion to Americans by direct deposit to accounts at financial institutions, Direct Express card accounts, and check. The Treasury-sponsored economic impact payment card is another method to provide money efficiently and securely to eligible recipients and their families. Cards are being distributed to qualified individuals without bank information on file with the IRS, and whose tax return was processed by either the Andover or Austin IRS service centers.
Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, will mail the cards to eligible recipients beginning this week. Each mailing will include instructions on how to activate and use the card.
The card is part of Treasury’s U.S. Debit Card program, which provides prepaid debit card services to federal agencies for the electronic delivery of non-benefit payments. MetaBank was selected as Treasury’s financial agent for the U.S. Debit Card program in 2016, following a competitive selection process conducted by the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service.