Stimulus checks arriving via prepaid cards causing problems

Millions of Americans are set to receive their first stimulus checks by debit cards over the next few weeks. But, just like the disbursement of the electronic transfers, there have been some hiccups in the process.

Some have reportedly received the prepaid card but with the wrong names on them. It seems that there might have been a glitch that mixes up the first and last name of joint filers. So for example the first name might be for a husband and the last name might be for a wife (or vice versa).

Another big issue is that the envelopes are pretty non-discrete and look like spam to many people. This has resulted in many reports of people throwing away the envelopes that contain the prepaid debit cards.

The envelopes are addressed from the Money Network Cardholder Services and look like the photo below. As you can tell, the envelope is very plain looking and inconspicuous.

The plain envelope Chris Barton received his stimulus card in. Photo: Courtesy of Chirs Barton
Photo: Courtesy of Chirs Barton.

As far as what the prepaid debit card looks like, it has the background of the blue stars section of the American flag. It’s actually a pretty nice looking debit card.

Around 4 million people will get the prepaid debits cards, according to the Treasury. Photo: Money Network Financial
Photo: Money

It’s very possible that if a second round of stimulus checks comes out, that more of these debit cards will be sent out.

So I would recommend getting familiar with what the envelope looks like so that if you end up receiving one of these over the summer you will not be tempted to throw it in your trash bin. 

Keep in mind that some people who had direct deposit information on file still reportedly have received these prepaid debit cards. Also, some people who were told they would receive paper checks have received the debit cards,

The Treasury prefers these debit cards because, “Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

I’m sure it is very efficient to load funds onto these cards but the problem the IRS is having with these is that there is a marketing problem.

They did not provide enough notice to Americans that they may be receiving a debit card and so because people are so accustomed to seeing spam or even scams in their mailbox, they disregarded the envelope.

Hopefully, they will provide better guidance this next time around, assuming there are more checks. 


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