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News from the Federal Reserve Banks Treasury Services

Help keep customers safe with direct deposit

December 2012

Your financial institution has only three months left to help federal benefit check recipients beat the clock and switch to direct deposit via Automated Clearing House (ACH). Make a special point in these final months to inform every customer who cashes a government check that they are required by law to switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013. Help them switch to direct deposit right away.
By urging your customers to make the switch ahead of the deadline, you will also help them protect their money form check theft and fraud immediately.
Promote the safety benefits of direct deposit
Ensuring people get their money the safest way possible is one reason why the Treasury Department is requiring beneficiaries to receive their federal benefit payments each month, putting their money in danger of check theft and other financial crimes.
Have your tellers or bankers talk to customers about the Treasury Department’s electronic payments requirement for federal benefits, and also remind them of the safety benefits of direct deposit. In doing so, you will help your customers avoid fraud, while improving your level of customer loyalty and simplifying your ACH enrollment process.
Once customers have made the switch, share these three safety tips with them to help keep their money safe:
1. Be careful of anyone who calls, texts or emails asking for your personal information.
2. Protect personal information. Never give out your Social Security number or account number to anyone unless you are the one who has contacted them.
3. Watch your bank account to make sure all account activity is yours.

The clock is ticking – Spread the word!
The Treasury Department’s Go Direct® campaign offers free materials to make it easy for financial institutions to train frontline staff and urge federal benefit check recipients to switch now before time runs out. Get involved today – it is simple to:
• Train Staff – Train your staff to talk with customers about the requirement and help them switch to direct deposit.
• Educate Customers – Share these new educational videos and fliers with customers to help them understand why electronic payments are safer than paper checks and how to keep their money safe with direct deposit.
Remember, under NACHA rules your financial institution is required to verify the identity of people who ask to switch their payment to direct deposit. Help protect your customers from the start by educating them on how to keep their money safe.

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