Go Direct Campaign Promotes Direct Deposit
Did you know that no direct deposit payment has ever been lost or stolen? Few people are aware of just how safe and convenient direct deposit can be. Heightening the public’s awareness of these benefits is the goal of Go Direct, a new marketing campaign cosponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
Countering the slowdown
Go Direct, which kicked off Sept. 27, aims to jumpstart the use of direct deposit, whose growth rate among federal benefit recipients has slowed in recent years, according to a Treasury study. While Go Direct targets all federal beneficiaries, it focuses primarily on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income recipients, who receive the largest number of benefit payments by check.
Hitting key messages
The campaign stresses three key themes: Direct deposit is safer, easier, and more timely. To overcome people’s reluctance to use direct deposit, Go Direct informs payees about direct deposit’s benefits and helps them sign up for it. The campaign reaches payment recipients through organizations with which they are familiar, including financial institutions and community-based groups, as well as through media outreach, direct mail, advertising, and Web sites in English and Spanish.
Why should taxpayers care?
Direct deposit represents a significant savings over paper checks—75 cents per federal benefit payment—according to Treasury data. If the 160 million benefit checks issued annually were converted to direct deposit, taxpayers would save about $120 million a year.
The costs associated with issuing federal benefit checks will increase dramatically when the baby-boom generation begins reaching retirement age in 2008, making wider adoption of direct deposit increasingly important.