Economic outlook: Prepaid Cards: Streamlining Tax Time for Tax Preparers and Their Customers

We’re all familiar with the old adage: nothing is certain, except death and taxes. For those of us who look forward to receiving a tax refund, this adage isn’t necessarily a bad thing — especially if we can receive it as quickly as possible. 

As of August 31, 2018, more than $300 billion in tax refunds had been distributed, with each individual receiving an average refund of $2,793. For the eight out of 10 taxpayers who elected to receive their refunds via direct deposit, the funds were instantly available. One of those direct deposit options — prepaid cards — can help Electronic Return Originators (EROs) to streamline their roles, save valuable resources and serve every customer.
Funds can be loaded automatically onto prepaid cards, making them a great disbursement option for all parties involved in the process. Are you an ERO processing taxes this year? Read on for more details on why you should consider prepaid. 
    • Prepaid streamlines the ERO’s job. EROs can simply hand customers prepaid cards at the end of their initial visit to file taxes. Returns are then automatically loaded onto the customers’ cards as soon as they’re available, and the customer is alerted via text. For the ERO, this means no more pop-in visits or follow-up calls inquiring about refund statuses. And, when customers elect for prepaid over checks, EROs save even more time by not having to process paper checks.
    • Customers love prepaid, too. Prepaid cards are fast, secure and streamlined, and consumers across all income levels are fans, purchasing billions of dollars on prepaid cards each year. They’re also widely accepted, and look, feel and function in many ways like debit cards, with powerful functionality as a budgeting tool.

      For tax refunds and advances, prepaid enables customers to receive their funds automatically. It is also a safe and secure alternative to checks, as many cards can be replaced (along with the funds on them) if they’re lost or stolen.
Meta is the second largest issuer of prepaid cards in the U.S., having issued more than a billion cards, and offers tax products through MetaBank’s tax divisions including Refund Advantage, EPS Financial and Specialty Consumer Services. These include the FasterMoney™ Visa® Prepaid Card, E1 Visa® Prepaid Card, advance loans, refund transfers and more in over 40,000 tax offices nationwide. 

Contact us to learn more about how the Meta family of companies can help you to streamline your tax process this year.

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