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.
- 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.
- Speaking of checks, prepaid saves Uncle Sam money. In 2015 alone, taxpayers filed over 150.5 million income tax returns, and the federal government issued $306,016 billion in refunds. Though 80 percent of filers elected to receive their refunds via direct deposit, more than 20 million taxpayers did not, for a total of about $51 billion distributed in the form of a check.
It costs the nation’s taxpayers more than $1 for every paper refund check issued, and tax refunds are the single largest source of government paper checks. Choosing a direct deposit option can add up to major cost savings across the board.
- 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.
- Prepaid promotes economic inclusion and allows the ERO to serve every customer. Per IRS statistics, the vast majority of taxpayers prefer to receive their refunds via direct deposit. However, this isn’t an option for the unbanked customers who don’t have a checking account, which included 8.4 million U.S. households in 2017 — unless their ERO offers a prepaid alternative. Prepaid provides a valuable direct deposit option for those customers, ensuring an ERO can offer the same level of service to every customer.
Contact us to learn more about how the Meta family of companies can help you to streamline your tax process this year.
For more information, call 1.866.559.5037 or email email@example.com.
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