Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service Selects Comerica Bank to Continue Prepaid Debit Card for Unbanked
January 07, 2020
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) today announced the selection of Comerica Bank as the financial agent for the Direct Express® prepaid debit card program. The new agreement is for five years, beginning in January 2020.
Fiscal Service selected Comerica Bank, which is the current financial agent for the program, after conducting a competitive selection process and evaluating proposals from multiple financial institutions. Based on this review, Fiscal Service determined that Comerica Bank will continue to provide the best overall value to the American public, existing and new cardholders, and the federal government in terms of reliable access to benefit payments, service, and cost. The new agreement with Comerica Bank implements rigorous customer service requirements, requires more reporting, reduces cardholder fees for certain transactions, and lowers the overall cost to the federal government from the previous agreement.
“For more than 10 years, the Direct Express® program has provided unbanked federal beneficiaries with a low-cost, secure payment option, and has done so with a consistently high customer satisfaction rating of 94%,” said Ronda Kent, Chief Disbursing Officer of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “This new agreement builds on the success of the Direct Express® program by continuing to focus on the customer while lowering the cost to American taxpayers.”
The Direct Express® program provides 4.5 million Americans – the majority of whom do not have a bank account – with a prepaid debit card to receive their monthly Social Security or Veterans benefit payments. For most cardholders, this payment is their sole source of income and is essential for basic living needs such as housing, food, and medicine.
Direct Express® is safer, more convenient, and more reliable than a paper check when receiving federal benefits. Additionally, it provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including for fraud, loss, and other errors. The debit card can be used online or at any retail locations where Mastercard is accepted. The program has maintained cardholder satisfaction ratings of 94% or higher for the last 10 years.
Fiscal Service looks forward to continuing to build on the success of the Direct Express® program to provide unbanked beneficiaries with low- to no-cost access to financial resources and education through the PayPerks program – a popular program benefit that cardholders have used more than 14 million times.
For more information on the Direct Express® program, please visit DirectExpress.info. For media inquiries, please call 202-504-3535 or e-mail Media.Relations@fiscal.treasury.gov.