Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Government Prepaid Programs Case Study: Direct Express Debit MasterCard

Nora Arpin, Director of Government Electronic Solutions, Comerica
Walt Henderson, Financial Management Service, U.S. Department of Treasury
Brian Greehan, Business Leader, Prepaid Products, MasterCard Worldwide

Walt from FMS began by mentioning that issuing checks is highly expensive and so this program is extremely beneficial in cost-cutting. Nora mentions thereafter that there are 2 requirements in creating a system like this and it is to focus on the benefit recipient and their satisfaction, and the 2nd is a robust collaboration and teamwork with a government agency. All great programs with challenges and one challenge is that government programs tend to be unique. Most recipients are unbanked and so they are unfamiliar with these tools. Consumers need confidence in order to use the cards and so there must be messaging that states the Direct Express Debit MasterCard is a valuable and compelling tool. Nora brings up this quote from ex-president Bill Clinton’s presentation yesterday, “Prepaid is an important tool to move people from cash to financial inclusion” and the want to do that is to collaborate with government agencies.

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