Government Benefits With Electronic Payment Solutions
Prepaid cards are replacing cheques to become the standard payment solution for government programs everywhere, thanks to the wide variety of benefits they provide. Prepaid solutions are being used to disburse government funds for programs such as:
– Tax Returns
– Social Security Payments
– Education Funding / Student Loans
– Social Assistance and Disability Benefits
– Veteran’s Benefits
– Emergency and Disaster Relief Funding
– Child Benefit & Support Disbursements
– Pensions and Employment benefits
– Workers Compensation and Unemployment Benefits
– Transit / Tolls
Switching to prepaid offers a variety of benefits, both to the government, and to cardholders:
– Prepaid solutions can significantly reduce the costs of payment disbursements. The U.S. Treasury Department estimates that the government saves approximately $1.16 for each payment made electronically rather than paper cheques. (MasterCard)
– Government studies have shown that cheques cost approximately 0.82 cents to issue versus 0.13 cents for an electronic payment. (Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization)
– Funds can be loaded quickly, easily, and securely and distributed electronically instantly as many times as needed
– Possibility of cheque fraud is nonexistent
Easily Track Funds & Generate Reports
– Government agencies can track all payments and transactions thanks to a digital reporting system
– Real-time reporting allows for greater transparency, which cuts down on fraud, improves customers service, allows for increased visibility, and increases the likelihood of program success
– Track expense and travel claims for government personnel
– A single solution is able to handle varied requirements and programs (emergency, pension, education, unemployment, etc.)
Effective During An Emergency
– Prepaid card payments can be made instantly, which is extremely helpful in cases of emergency situations where governments need to distribute disbursements immediately
– Older, outdated payment systems like cheques require a labor-intensive series of processes, which delays disbursements. Prepaid solutions are streamlined and payments can be completed at the time they are most needed.
Funds Are Available Immediately & Can Be Used In Many Ways
– Funds can be easily accessed by cardholders through POS, ATMs, and online.
– Recipients do not have to wait days to receive or cash their cheques, and they no longer need to rely on expensive cheque cashing services if they need quick access to the funds.
Cardholders Can Pay Bills & Make Purchases Online
– Cardholders can conduct day-to-day activities with a prepaid card such as paying bills, making purchases, depositing and withdrawing cash.
– Cardholders have the ability to make purchases anywhere Visa® is accepted, including online.
– Safer alternative to carrying cash
– Prepaid cards are secure, providing cardholder protection for funds and replacement of card in case of theft or loss.
– Prepaid cards are not connected to bank accounts, which adds further protection for cardholders.
Easy to use
– Prepaid cards work just like a credit or debit card. They can be used to make purchases at a store, to withdraw money from an ATM, or to shop online.
24/7 customer service
– If recipients have a problem with their card/funds, they can get in touch with customer service any time
– Unbanked or underbanked clients can use prepaid to take care of their everyday financial needs
For some examples of successful government prepaid programs, see the winner of the Best Benefits Delivery category at the Paybefore Awards and the 2011 Paybefore Awards winner for Best Government Program. One of the programs supports multiple compensation programs and streamlines multilayered internal processes that previously delayed disbursements. It is also set up to restrict spend as needed. The other program combines state-of-the-art prepaid functionality with the security and convenience of plastic payment cards to deliver greater financial freedom to the First Nations of Canada.
With all of these advantages and uses, it’s no surprise that government agencies are more frequently considering prepaid programs as a preferred method of payment. Prepaid programs can be customized to accommodate whatever payment requirements a particular department or agency is launching. These programs are cost-effective, efficient, flexible to use, and the benefits far outweigh those of traditional payment methods such as paper cheques.
Looking to use a prepaid solution for your government department or agency? Contact us to find out more about our existing solutions or to discuss a customized program to fit your particular requirements.
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