The U.S. government has launched a campaign aimed at getting individuals who currently receive benefit checks to switch over to an electronic payment system.
As of March 1, 2013, individuals who receive social security checks, government benefits or another type of recurring payment will no longer be seeing checks. Instead, they must choose direct deposit or a Direct Express card, a prepaid debit/credit card which allows federal benefit recipients to pay bills, withdraw cash and make purchases without paying check-cashing fees.
Many federal benefit recipients have already made the switch to electronic payments, with the majority choosing direct deposit.
About 11 million Americans receive federal benefits. DigitalTransactions.net reports that about half of those who are eligible for the electronic payments have already switched over, leaving authorities encouraged that the remaining customers will do so before the deadline.
“If you or a loved one haven’t yet made the switch, please take note of this new law and sign up for electronic payments today,” said David Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service.
According to BankTech.com, the Treasury expects to save $120 million per year by switching to an electronic payment system.