Nearly 4 million Americans will receive stimulus payments on a prepaid debit card.
Since the stimulus plan of the CARE Act was enacted in April, approximately 140 million Americans have received their promised stimulus payments. The majority of these payments have been issued through direct deposit information sent to the IRS for tax purposes, though after that initial wave, anyone who did not have their direct deposit info on file with the IRS received a paper check for the money. However, there are still a large population of Americans who qualify for stimulus payments, yet have not received them. One of the major roadblocks to getting everyone their money is that many Americans do not have bank accounts, or otherwise refuse to share their information.
In order to get stimulus payments to these Americans, the Treasury will begin distributing prepaid debit cards with the money loaded onto them. “EIP Cards are being distributed to qualified individuals without bank information on file with the IRS, and whose tax return was processed by either the Andover or Austin IRS Service Center,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a public statement.
Approximately 4 million Americans will be receiving these cards in the mail starting this week. The cards will be Visa debit cards, issued by MetaBank. The letter that contains the card will include instructions on how to activate it. Once the card is activated, it can be freely used to make purchases, withdraw funds, and anything else a debit card would typically be used for. Card holders can also register on an online portal to get a live balance, as well as check the card’s purchase history.
“Treasury and the IRS have been working with unprecedented speed to issue Economic Impact Payments to American families,” the Treasury statement said. “Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly. Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”