What Bank Is Associated With Direct Express Debit Card
Comerica Bank is behind Direct Express, which is run by the United States Department of the Treasury.
Your debit card is issued by Comerica Bank, under agreement with Mastercard International Incorporated.
In January 2020, The U.S. Department of the Treasurys Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced that Comerica Bank has been selected again to run the Direct Express program.
The new agreement is for 5 years, beginning in January 2020.
Comerica Bank won another five-year contract from the Treasury Department to continue operating the Direct Express program, despite being criticized for poor customer service and fraud.
How Does The Direct Express Social Security Debit Card Work
When you sign up for Direct Express, you’ll receive a debit card in the mail. It looks like any other debit or ATM card and has an electronic chip. The government will begin to deposit your monthly Social Security or other eligible benefits onto the card.
You’ll be issued with a personal identification number or PIN. You can use your card and PIN to withdraw cash at ATMs or to buy goods or services from retailers.
You can use your Direct Express Social Security debit card, providing you have money available. However, once you’ve spent your balance, youll be unable to use the card until the government pays your next federal benefit payment into the account.
How To Sign Up For A Social Security Debit Card
You can sign up for the card at your local Social Security office or by calling the Direct Express card enrollment center at 333-1795. Representatives of payees can sign up the same way.
Once you sign up, your Social Security benefits will be paid directly to your Direct Express card account for you to access each month.
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How Does The Direct Express Card Work
Each month, your money is automatically deposited to your Direct Express® card account on your payment date. You can go to any bank, credit union, or ATM that shows the Mastercard® logo, even if you do not have a bank account.
- buy from any place that accepts debit card payments
- get cash from any ATM, bank, or credit union that shows the Mastercard® logo
- pay your bills online or over the phone
Option 2 Write To Direct Express Card
Sometimes, the best way to get the fasted response is through the old fashion way snail mail. This is true when disputing a fraudulent transaction.
Heres the mailing address to write to Direct Express:
- Your name and Direct Express Account number.
- Description of the transfer or transaction you are unsure about, and an explanation of why you believe it is in error or why you need more information.
- The dollar amount and, to the extent possible, date of the suspected error.
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Alarming Incidents Of Fraud
It appears online fraudsters have zeroed in on the Direct Express card as a target for fraud.
Thieves are stealing government benefits paid to hundreds of retirees, veterans and even those on disability who use the Direct Express debit card.
This prompted the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration to issue a warning to cardholders:
US Senate Investigation
An investigation by the Office of United States Senator, Elizabeth Warren, found some very disturbing issues.
The Senator opened the investigation to Comericas handling of Direct Express fraud cases,
This was after a constituent in Massachusetts contacted her office to report that Comerica left the account of her family member vulnerable to fraud and failed to reimburse him.
The investigation found that hundreds of individuals were affected by fraud in the Direct Express program.
According to information provided by Comerica, in the one year after the feature was introduced to all Direct Express cardholders in August 2017, there were 480 cases of fraud.
The total amount of confirmed fraud is almost $460,000, an average of nearly $1,000 stolen per affected individual.
The news report on the investigation indicated that:
The Direct Express program was plagued by similar incidents of criminals impersonating beneficiaries and draining their accounts.
Victims were not notified of the fraud by Comerica. In some cases, months were spent trying to get these critical benefits restored.
Direct Express Routing Number
Direct Express Routing Number FAQ:
What is this routing number for?Routing numbers are used for making automatic deposits or making wire transfers. They operate like an address for a bank, and when paired with your account number will allow money to get to or from your bank account quickly, securely and accurately.
Who needs the Direct Express Routing number?Anyone who uses Direct Express might need to find the routing number. It can be found on the checks, and sometimes the bank or credit union has it on their website. Some banks and credit unions make it difficult to find, so were here to make it fast and easy.
How long does a wire transfer take from Direct Express?Most wire transfers are completed in 24 hours or less. Make sure you get your wire transfer submitted before the cut-off time in order to have the wire completed the same day. Thats usually 3pm EST for smaller banks, and 5pm EST for larger banks. Use the customer service phone number above to find out the exact time for a wire transfer.
What information do I need for a wire transfer from Direct Express?In order to wire money to or from a bank or credit union, youll need the following information:
- Recipient full name and address
- Recipient bank name, address, and telephone number
- Recipient bank account number and account type
- Recipient bank ABA routing number OR the Recipient bank IBAN and BIC/SWIFT codes
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Are There Any Fees To Use The Card
Yes, you may need to pay fees for some transactions.
You’re allowed one free ATM cash withdrawal for each benefit payment. If you need further withdrawals, you’ll pay a fee of 85 cents per withdrawal.
For an 85 cent fee, you can withdraw cash over the counter at Walmart.
You can also transfer funds from your Direct Express card into another bank account. You’ll pay a $1.50 fee for each transfer to a U.S. bank account.
Online purchases and bill payments are typically free. You can also buy money orders from the U.S. Post Office to pay bills and pay only the post office fee.
Checking your account balance costs nothing, but if you prefer monthly paper statements, you’ll pay 75 cents each month.
If My Card Is Lost Or Stolen Is My Money Protected
Your Direct Express debit card comes with protection against unauthorized use.
If you experience fraudulent or unauthorized use of your card, hereâs what you need to know.
Your liability for unauthorized transactions is limited if your card is reported timely to Direct Express as lost or stolen.
Under the federal law, cardholders who dispute a transaction within 2 business days of learning of the loss or theft cannot be held liable for more than $50.
Those who dispute a charge within 60 days cannot be held liable for more than $500.
For Direct Express cardholders, this deadline is stretched to 90 days.
Therefore, you have 90 days to report any unauthorized transactions and not be liable for more than $500.
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How Do I Get Direct Express Routing Number
Unlike other prepaid debit cards, Direct Express doesnt make routing numbers publicly available for their cards.
You will be assigned an account number and Comerica Bank does have a routing number, but you wont need it.
Thats because only federal deposit payments can be put on the Direct Express card.
In addition, you can have refunds from the purchases you have made deposited onto your card.
Those are the two deposits that can be made onto a Direct Express debit card.
Therefore, since you cannot add your own funds to Direct Express account, there is no reason for the account and routing numbers to be displayed.
Adjustments To Your Card Account
There are occasions when adjustments will be made to your Card Account balance to: reflect a merchant adjustment resolve a dispute regarding a Transaction posted to your Card correct deposits or Transactions posted in error or because the Agency required the return of the Benefits received after you died or were declared incompetent . These adjustments could cause your Card Account to have a negative balance.
If you do not have sufficient funds in your account to cover a Transaction or fee, theamount owed may be deducted from future credits to your Card Account and/or wemay seek reimbursement from you, your estate or beneficiaries.
Remember, you always have the right to dispute adjustments posted to your Card Account.
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Problems Using Your Card
Protect Your Card And Personal Information
Direct Express® will never contact you by phone, email or text message to ask you for your card number, password, PIN or security code.
If you have responded to any communication asking you to provide any card or personal information, please inform Direct Express® customer service immediately by calling the number on the back of your card.
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How Can I Apply For A Social Security Debit Card
Provided you receive federal benefits, you can register for the card. Apply at your local Social Security office, visit www.GoDirect.gov, or call the Direct Express card enrollment center at 333-1795.
Once youre accepted, you need not do anything further. Your benefits are conveniently paid directly to your card account each month for access whenever you need them.
Zia Sherrell is a digital health journalist with over a decade of healthcare experience, a bachelors degree in science from the University of Leeds and a masters degree in public health from the University of Manchester. Her work has appeared in Netdoctor, Medical News Today, Healthline, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, Harper’s Bazaar, Men’s Health and more.
When shes not typing madly, Zia enjoys traveling and chasing after her dogs.
Suspending Or Canceling Your Card
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How Does It Work
The federal benefits are paid directly to your card on your monthly payment date. You wont have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail. If you have another bank account, you can transfer the funds to it, but you’ll pay a $1.50 fee for each transfer to a U.S. bank account. If you already have a bank account with a debit card, enrolling in direct deposit may a better option.
Your card comes with a personal identification number that you use to authorize transactions or withdrawals. You can also have your transactions processed as “credit” rather than “debit,” which means you sign for purchases instead, as you would with a credit card. The funds are still deducted from your balance, even when you choose the credit option.
Purchases, withdrawals, and transaction fees are deducted from your balance. Once youve spent all of the funds on the card, youll be unable to use it until you receive your next months benefits.
You can be assured that your money is safe: the funds in your account are FDIC-insured up to the legal limit.
Transactions We May Refuse To Process
A Transaction may not be processed if: the amount of the Transaction exceeds your available balance, the Card has been reported lost or stolen, we are uncertain whether you have authorized the Transaction, or there is a dispute involving your available balance. If you believe you were entitled to receive Benefits in an amount different than what was credited to your Card Account, you should contact the Agency.
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Your Liability For Unauthorized Transactions
Tell us AT ONCE if you believe your Card or PIN has been lost or stolen. Telephoning us at the Customer Service number is the best way of keeping your possible losses down. You could lose all the money in your Card Account. If you tell us within two Business Days, you can lose no more than $50 if someone used your Card or PIN without your permission. If you do NOT tell us within two Business Days after you learn of the loss or theft of your Card or PIN, and we can prove that we could have stopped someone from using your Card or PIN without your permission if you had told us, you could lose as much as $500.
If you canât telephone us, you can write to us at Direct Express®, Payment Processing Services, PO Box 540190, Omaha, NE 68154-0190. If you are a California resident, you will not be liable for the $500 amount described above in any event. If you are a New York resident, your liability for the unauthorized use of the Card will not exceed $50.
Also, if the written Transaction history or other Card Transaction information provided to you shows transfers that you did not make, tell us at once. If you do not tell us within 120 days after the transfer allegedly in error was credited or debited to your Card Account, you may not get back any money you lost after the 120 days if we can prove that we could have stopped someone from taking the money if you had told us in time. If a good reason kept you from notifying us, we will extend the time periods.
Who Is Eligible For The Social Security Debit Card
Anyone who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits is eligible to use this card.
Because its a prepaid debit card, you can only use your Direct Express Social Security debit card if you have funds in your account. Once youve spent or withdrawn your entire account balance, youll have to wait for your next monthly disbursement to use your card again.
You cannot deposit personal funds onto the card. You must open a separate bank or prepaid card to deposit personal funds.
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Special Notice To Joint Account Holders
If your account is a joint account and receives direct deposit benefit payments, you must inform the federal agency and the financial institution of the death of the beneficiary. Payments sent by direct deposit after the date of death or ineligibility of a beneficiary must be returned to the federal agency. The federal agency will then determine if the survivor is eligible for benefits.
Direct Express Cards Available
Catherine M. Callery | Louise M. Tarantino
Many Social Security and SSI recipients have encountered problems with receiving their monthly benefits in the mail or even by direct deposit into their bank accounts. Problems with lost or stolen paper checks are not uncommon, and of course, exempt Social Security and SSI checks supposedly protected in claimants bank accounts have nonetheless been subject to seizure by creditors.
The U.S. Treasurys optional Direct Express stored value/debit cards allow beneficiaries to receive their monthly payments without the hassles of paper checks or bank accounts. Since its inception in April 2008, the Direct Express card has attracted over 446,000 recipients. It can be used to make purchases and cash withdrawals wherever MasterCard debit cards are accepted, to obtain post office money orders, and to withdraw cash from ATMs.
The Direct Express card eliminates the expense of check cashing services, as well as the risk of stolen checks. It also substantially reduces the danger of exempt Social Security and SSI funds being garnished by creditors. Because the card can only be used to receive Social Security and SSI, exempt funds are never comingled with nonexempt funds. According to the Treasury Department, Comerica, the bank that operates the Direct Express system, will not allow a freeze or garnishment of the money on the cards, except to the extent allowed by federal law .
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How Long It Takes To Get A Replacement Card
Another top complaint of Direct Express cardholders is how long it takes to get a replacement card in the mail.
If your Direct Express card has expired, is lost, stolen or you are a victim of fraud and your card is canceled, getting a replacement card can take a while.
Some cardholders have reported waiting as long as 3 weeks to get a replacement card in the mail. Even if you pay for expedited shipping, it can take about a week to receive your card in the mail.