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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Transportation payments in transition

News

Industry Update

Financial reform bill passes Senate, interchange targeted

Why won't Apple take cash for iPads?

PCI SSC unveils new PTS requirements

Trade Association News

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Prepaid's role in monetizing social media

A new benefits option for Floridians

Views

The drive to innovate

Scott Henry
VeriFone Inc.

Canada: An untapped marketplace

Jeffrey Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
What does a merchant get for a PCI fee? - Part 1

Ken Musante
Eureka Payments LLC

The art of cross-marketing: How to maximize existing client relationships and boost sales

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Consult your way to success

Tom Hennigan
Retail Cloud

Digging into PCI - Part 12: Maintain a policy that addresses information security for employees and contractors

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

A primer on accountability

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

How to use technology to redefine today's economy

Daniel Burrus
Burrus Research Associates Inc.

Company Profile

NETSURION (formerly Vendor Safe Technologies)

New Products

Skimming alert system

VeriFone PED Authentication Service
Verifone Inc.

End-to-end bulwark

E3 Secure
Heartland Payment Systems Inc.

Inspiration

Change - it never changes

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 14, 2010  •  Issue 10:06:01

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SP
A new benefits option for Floridians

Increasingly, federal and state agencies view prepaid cards as a convenient and cost-effective alternative for the issuance and distribution of benefits payments. This fall, Florida's Agency for Workforce Innovation will implement a prepaid debit card program for unemployment benefit recipients.

The program, managed by Affiliated Computer Services Inc., is designed to give recipients another way to receive unemployment compensation. Currently, Florida residents have two options for receiving unemployment benefits: state warrant (paper check) and electronic funds transfer (EFT). The prepaid debit card will become the third option. "They'll have all three choices," said Robby Cunningham, Communications Director at the AWI. "Some states have gone mandatory but Florida has not."

More benefits for recipients

The prepaid benefits card will be an open-loop, Visa Inc.-branded card that can be used at 1,800 surcharge-free, "in-network" ATMs statewide, including Wachovia/Wells Fargo's and Elan Financial Services' MoneyPass ATMs. According to Cunningham, 619,083 Florida residents have a "continuing claim status" with the state (people either receiving or certified to receive unemployment benefits). Fifty-nine percent of them receive benefits via EFT; 41 percent receive paper warrants, he added.

Cunningham believes prepaid debit cards will be in some ways an improvement over EFT. "The money will be deposited more quickly onto the debit card account than an EFT account," he said. "They'll have funds immediately. They'll be able to take the card and walk into a grocery store, for example, and use it much like any other debit card."

More sunshine for unbanked

A primary market for prepaid cards is unbanked individuals who do not have access to bank accounts. Therefore, unbanked Florida residents cannot use EFT, which allows funds to be electronically wired into bank accounts. The prepaid benefits cards will thus give unbanked recipients an electronic alternative to state-issued paper checks.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s 2009 Survey of Banks' Efforts to Serve the Unbanked and Underbanked found that 527,000 households in Florida are considered unbanked, which represents 7 percent of the total number of households in Florida. The largest unbanked minorities in Florida are African-American (24.2 percent) and Hispanic (8 percent), according to the FDIC. The AWI has taken that fact into account with the prepaid debit card program, with Xerox-owned ACS providing marketing materials and program access in Spanish and Creole, as well as English, Cunningham said.


For more stories from SellingPrepaid E-Magazine, as well as breaking news and forums devoted to the prepaid sphere, please visit SellingPrePaid.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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North American Bancard | Harbortouch | USAePay | IRISCRM.COM | Humboldt Merchant Services