DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec 16, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB)
U.S. Bank and the State of Iowa have implemented an innovative payment program
where the state disperses child support payments on a prepaid card versus a
paper check. This new program saves the State of Iowa $420,000 annually in
The U.S. Bank ReliaCard Visa functions like a debit card though it is not
attached to a checking or savings account. The state collects court ordered
child support payments as it has in the past, but instead of cutting a check and
mailing it to the recipient, it electronically loads the payment on to the
ReliaCard Visa that the recipient can use to make purchases or withdraw cash.
The card carries the Visa logo so it can be used at millions of locations where
Visa is accepted worldwide.
The program in Iowa is one of the first of its kind in the United States to be
mandated. It's an innovation that cuts costs for the state because it no longer
has to produce and mail a check, and it brings convenience and safety to the
cardholders who no longer have to find the time and place to cash their checks
or pay check cashing fees.
"U.S. Bank has worked hard to partner with the State of Iowa to serve our
customers. We are excited to be able to provide faster service to our customers
in a less expensive manner as a result of this partnership," said Jeanne Nesbit,
division administrator, Division of Child Support, Case Management, and Refugee
Services for the State of Iowa.
Since U.S. Bank introduced this product, which began as a pilot in the states of
Washington (DCS Card) and Colorado (Family Support Registry Card) in 2001, it
has become a recognized and valued tool used by more than 70,000 customers in
multiple states. The results were so impressive in those states that the State
of Iowa is now requiring the use of the ReliaCard Visa to all customers who
don't choose direct deposit or need an exemption.
Customers have also stated that the ReliaCard helps them enter the mainstream
financial world by allowing them to make purchases wherever Visa is accepted.
Cardholders can also track child support funds and spending separately from
other funds through monthly statements or by free, 24-hour access via the
Internet or telephone.
The card is a low-cost alternative to customers who previously paid check
cashing fees to cash their checks. There are no monthly fees associated with the
ReliaCard Visa, and customers receive one free cash withdrawal per month. In
addition to the one free withdrawal, the cardholder can access funds using the
Visa and Interlink networks free of charge. This means they also can get cash
back at no charge at many stores including Target, Walgreens and many grocery
stores. If the card is lost or stolen, it is backed by Visa's zero liability
policy, which means the cardholder is not responsible for unauthorized
"We are very excited to have jointly developed a product that provides more
options to the customers in Iowa as well as making the Iowa Department of Human
Services Bureau of Collections a more efficient part of the state government,"
said Gaye Crandall, program manager for U.S. Bank retail payment solutions. "The
end result was truly an effort of both U.S. Bank and the State of Iowa working
together to provide more convenience to the customers of Iowa."
U.S. Bank is working with other government agencies to initiate prepaid card
solutions in more states and in various capacities.
U.S. Bank operates 15 branches in Des Moines, 102 branch locations and 224 ATMs
in Iowa. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), with assets of $189 billion, is the 8th
largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company
operates 2,201 banking offices and 4,506 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line
of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment
services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is
home of the Five Star Service Guarantee which assures customers of certain key
banking benefits and services or customers will be paid for their inconvenience.
U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web
SOURCE: U.S. Bank
CONTACT: U.S. Bank Media Relations
Amy Frantti, 612-303-0733
Iowa Department of Human Services
State of Iowa
Roger Munns, 515-281-4848
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Copyright (C) 2003 Business Wire. All rights reserved.
SOURCE: U.S. Bank