Many people are in receipt of state disbursed payments. Typical payments include unemployment benefits and child support payments. Currently twenty three states nationwide offer the option of receiving these payments, and other state payments, as a direct deposit onto an EPPICard. This has the advantage of simplifying and speeding the process of receiving payments.
Anyone living in a state which offers the EPPIcards may select the option of receiving their payments via the card, rather than by check. Payment recipients will either be mailed a form with the EPPICard option available or find the form included with their check. The form can also be downloaded directly from the EPPICard website.
Once the payment method has been selected with EPPICard as the choice, the form must be returned to the state provider. It is not really a case of applying for a card but rather selecting it as a payment option, as there is no reason for a state to turn down a request for a card unless a previous card has been misused. Unlike credit cards there is no need for a credit check to be carried out and the state already has the payments recipients details.
The EPPICard itself is a debit card which is not linked to a bank account, and carries either the Visa or MasterCard logo. It can be used to pay for services wherever Visa or MasterCard are accepted; to obtain ATM withdrawals; to obtain merchant cash backs; and to obtain cash from banks. However it is not possible to add any additional funds to the card beyond the funds deposited by the State.
EPPICards do not provide the same functions as credit cards, and only the level of funds held on the card may be utilized. Using the card will make no impact on ones credit score as the card is not a credit card, but a debit card. It is more akin to a prepaid debit card due to the fact it is not linked to a bank account, but has the advantage no fees to hold one.
The benefits of EPPICards to those in receipt of state payments are clear. Those without access to a bank account will not have the expense of using cash checking facilities, and card holders will not need to wait for checks to arrive via the mail, or clear once received.
Each state provides its own agreements for the use of the cards. In some states card holders are charged a fee for calling customer services, whilst other states provide toll free numbers. Across the states it is uniform for card holders to have access to the EPPICard website to access their accounts fee free. In the eventuality of a state mistakenly overpaying funds onto a card the recipient is not allowed to use these funds.
It is likely that more states will join the EPPICard payment system. It may indeed become mandatory at some point for payment recipients to receive their funds via the card as the savings to the states which introduce EPPICard payments are significant.