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									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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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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

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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.
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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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