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Creating connections in California: Sharing good news about secure payments for citizens

Conduent’s team of child support experts spent four days in beautiful Garden Grove, California, attending the Annual Meeting of the Child Support Directors Association (CSDA) last week. This annual meeting brings together child support leaders and staff from California’s county governments to do what the theme of this year’s meeting identified, “Creating Connections: Building Bridges Together.” The plenary sessions and workshops were filled with enthusiasm, excitement, and laughter.  

The Conduent team coordinated a workshop entitled “Paving Your Pathway to a Leadership Destination.” The content focused on learning, growing, and building personal qualifications to prepare for leadership roles. Joining Conduent’s child support team leader, Kim Newsom Bridges, on the panel were Laura Van Buskirk, Placer County Director, and Tamara Thomas, Stanislaus County Human Resources Director. The room was packed, and the audience was highly responsive.

The time together caused me to reflect on our history and our shared experiences. It’s hard to believe how fast the years go by. In 2005 Conduent started providing child support payments on prepaid debit cards. A decade later, more secure EMV chip cards became available, and we began transitioning to those for disbursement of government-issued cash funds. With significant increases of skimming and counterfeit card fraud targeted at EBT cards and non-chipped debit cards, I'm glad we made this transition on behalf of our clients and their constituents.

Conduent uses EMV chip cards to provide child support payments throughout 14 states – including California, which made the switch to EMV chip cards without a hitch in 2020. These cards are part of our State Disbursement Unit activities to process more than $2 billion for child support payments annually in the State of California alone.

In another large state that we just recently converted to EMV chip cards, the SDU saw a dramatic drop in child support confirmed fraud losses: a decrease by more than 90 percent. Far fewer fraud reports also led to a significant reduction in incoming contact center calls from state constituents.

We should be proud of our continued success. In 2022 Conduent processed approximately $11 billion in secure child support payments nationwide. Recipients rely on us to get their funds, and we’ve delivered. I am gratified to know that everyone on our team understands this key part of our mission: to ensure that those who count on child support payments do not experience loss of funds due to fraud. As I read about government payments for other purposes, like TANF or refugee funds, I just wonder why this safe and common-sense solution hasn’t been more widely adopted.