Skip to main content

New Developments In Electronic Payment Cards

Moving the disbursement of funds from paper checks to electronic payment cards is nothing new. It’s been nearly 30 years since the first electronic benefits solutions were tested, and many agencies enjoy the lower costs and improved service – including the major savings of spending $.09 to make an electronic disbursement instead of $.98 to issue a check as reported by the GAO.

Yet the field is always changing. New rules and guidelines have been issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). States are expanding card usage to previously untested programs, including refugee cash assistance, emergency aid, and foster care subsidies. And the technology is changing too. EMV “chip” cards have become dramatically more prevalent in the consumer marketplace in just the past year – what does that mean for government benefits cards?

To answer questions like these, education is paramount. I recently led a Governing webinar along with Tom Pennington from Oklahoma DHS to share the ways that payment cards improve service while reducing cost, and what every government agency using payment cards needs to know.

Some of the key takeaways:

  • How the new CFPB rule on prepaid accounts will affect consumer protection on overdrafts and fees
  • How EMV technology changes the game by providing a more secure transaction
  • How innovations like online bill pay, companion cards, and funds transfer improve service to cardholders

If you’d like to find out more, watch the webinar replay or take a look at the presentation. Payment cards are here to stay, and there’s always more to learn.