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Bureau of the Fiscal Service

Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service Seeks Direct Express® Program Services

November 27, 2018

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, seeks applications from qualified financial institutions to serve as a financial agent of the United States. The selected financial agent(s) will provide Direct Express® debit card services nationwide to recipients of social security and other federal benefit payments. The agreement with the current financial agent ends in January 2020. Applications must be received no later than 5:00 pm ET February 15, 2019.

More than 4.5 million individuals receive their social security, veterans, and other benefit payments electronically to a Direct Express® prepaid debit card, a Treasury-sponsored account designed for those who do not have bank accounts. The Direct Express® program is an essential instrument for Treasury to comply with Federal law requiring electronic federal benefits payments. For many cardholders, their federal benefit is the sole source of income and essential for basic living needs. Direct Express® provides a safe, convenient, and reliable way to receive their benefit.

Treasury established the terms and conditions of the Direct Express® account in 2010, following a rulemaking and a review of public comments. Direct Express® accounts are not issued or held by Treasury. While Treasury establishes the features and fees of the Direct Express® debit card, the accounts are issued and maintained by a financial institution, as required by statute. Among other features, the account must be offered at a reasonable cost and with the same consumer protections as a traditional bank account, including fraud protections under Regulation E.

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Last modified 12/14/23