Direct Express Earns High Marks from Cardholders; Treasury Shares Demographic Data (March 11, 2015)
The U.S. Treasury’s Direct Express prepaid benefit card program earned a 95 percent satisfaction rating from cardholders in 2014, marking the sixth consecutive year of near 100 percent customer satisfaction. In the most recent poll, results of which were released this week, 95 percent of Direct Express cardholders said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the program.
The survey also revealed demographic data about cardholders including:
- 81 percent are unbanked
- 61 percent receive Social Security benefits via the card
- 53 percent are age 45 to 64
- 16 percent are older than 65
- 60 percent are female
- 46 percent of cardholders live in the South, 21 percent in the Midwest, 17 percent in the West and 15 percent in the Northeast.
And, 40 percent of those surveyed reported owning a smartphone—a key demographic for several mobile initiatives Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service has in the works, including a new app to be launched this year, and a planned Apple Pay integration. Last summer, Comerica Bank signed a five-year extension to continue its role as issuer of the Direct Express MasterCard.
Direct Express has been an integral part of Treasury’s push to eliminate paper checks for benefits payments since its launch in 2008. The department currently makes 98 percent of monthly benefits payments electronically, saving taxpayers a projected $1 billion over a 10-year period.
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