In this high-tech, always-on world, we’re always searching for the latest and greatest innovations to simplify our lives. Likewise, many government agencies are working to incorporate that same approach by implementing new technologies that redefine traditional processes and modernize the future of state government.
Nowhere is this truer than in electronic payment solutions. As swift advances in technology help simplify payment processes, most state government agencies are replacing paper checks with electronic payment methods to disperse monthly benefits and payments. From electronic benefit transfer (EBT) to prepaid debit cards, payment innovation is necessary to deliver optimal service to both agencies and constituents.
In the past decade, electronic payment card-based programs have grown by leaps and bounds. It is estimated that 88 million Americans are either unbanked or underbanked, relying on check-cashing storefronts to get funds. Payment cards are transforming that process by connecting the unbanked with quick, easy access to their funds, while avoiding costly fees associated with paper checks.
Today, many states are taking this process one step further by adopting payment card programs that offer multiple benefit payments on one card to help enhance service to constituents, improve access to funds and to simplify procurement. Recurring payments – like child support, unemployment insurance, TANF, adoption subsidies and many others – can all be placed on one card, so deposits are routed to one central account – making the process faster, safer and more convenient not only for the agency but the cardholder as well.
For example, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services turned to an electronic payment program to simplify the delivery of public assistance to its citizens. Oklahoma residents who receive TANF, child support, state supplemental, sales tax rebates, low-income energy assistance, adoption assistance and/or foster care payments are able to access benefits on a single reloadable debit card – providing faster and easier access to funds than ever before. These programs serve over 400,000 Oklahoma families. The Oklahoma electronic payment program has received numerous awards for their innovation in providing services across multiple agency programs to a single recipient.
Programs like this are modernizing state government processes and providing a wealth of benefits to agencies and constituents alike.
Benefits for government agencies
- Significantly reduce printing, mailing and financial handling costs associated with check issuance
- Improve operational efficiency and productivity by streamlining processes and freeing up valuable resources
- Increase customer satisfaction and enhance service to constituents
- Enhance payment security by minimizing fraud, theft or loss
- Simple process integration
Benefits for cardholders
- Faster access to funds and account information. With multiple benefits on one card, individuals can easily manage payments through one account
- No check cashing fees
- Make purchases at any location MasterCard and VISA is accepted as well as have access to cash or balances at ATMs
- Access to account information and transaction history is available 24/7
To learn more about electronic payment cards and services, please click here.