Prepare Members for the Switch to E-Benefits

By next year, members receiving federal benefit payments by check will have to switch to electronic payments.

March 01, 2012
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The U.S. Treasury Department requires all recipients of check-based federal benefit payments to switch to an electronic payment method by March 1, 2013.

It’s a move that will save taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years.

Credit unions can prepare members for the switch to a direct deposit option now rather than wait for the deadline. You’ll help them receive their money in a way that’s safer and more reliable, while improving your credit union’s customer service.

There are three simple ways to help your members make the switch:

  • Use your own enrollment method
  • Access the Treasury Department’s Go Direct® online enrollment system for financial institutions at
  • Direct members to switch on their own at or call the Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at 800-333-1795.

The Treasury Department’s Go Direct campaign offers free materials—such as fliers, deposit slip stickers, and newsletter copy—to  make it easy for your credit union to urge federal benefit check recipients to switch now before next year’s deadline.

Get involved by taking these three easy steps:

  • Train your staff to raise awareness about this new requirement and help members cashing or depositing federal benefit checks switch to direct deposit.
  • Display Go Direct materials in your lobby or at teller windows.
  • Educate members through your newsletters, statement stuffers, social media channels, and presentations.

Promote direct deposit for federal benefit payments early and often. The deadline will be here before you know it.

For more information or to download or order free materials, visit

WALT HENDERSON is director, EFT strategy division for the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service.

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