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Electronic Benefit Cards

The Next Frontier in Public Benefits

Over the past 20 years electronic deposit and electronic benefit transfers (EBT) have replaced paper checks for the delivery of public assistance benefits.  Recently, more and more states are transitioning away from EBTs and toward the use of electronic payment cards (EPCs) – i.e., prepaid Visa or MasterCard branded cards. 

This webinar discussed the differences between various benefit payment methods and investigated the implications of the new trend toward EPCs for low-income families. 


  • Ji Won Kim, Asset Opportunity Unit, The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
  • Kay Kuhlman, Assistant Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • Walt Henderson, Director of the EFT Strategy Division, the U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Suzanne Martindale, Attorney and Associate Policy Analyst, Consumers Union
  • Lauren Saunders, Managing Attorney, National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
  • Jean Ann Fox, Director of Financial Services, Consumer Federation of America (CFA)
  • Judith Glassgold, Senior Policy Advisor on Health and Domestic Social Policy, Congressman Sandy Levin (D-MI)



Electronic Funds Transfer Law and Regulations

Treasury Regulations

Proposed Federal Bills

FDIC Insurance

Safe Prepaid Card Accounts

Interchange Fees

Congressional Hearings

Legal Action / Lawsuits

Articles and Reports

Other Links

  1. Oversight of Dodd-Frank Implementation: A Progress Report by the Regulators at the Half-Year Mark, February 17, 2011
  2. Understanding the Federal Reserve’s Proposed Rule on Interchange Fees: Implications and Consequences of the Durbin Amendment, February 17, 2011
  3. Testimony by Sarah Bloom Raskin: Interchange Fees, February 17, 2011
  4. U.S. PIRG, Public Citizen and the Hispanic Institute, Written Testimony submitted to the House Financial Services Committee Hearing , February 17, 2011
  5. Proposed Federal Legislation to Delay the Implementation of the Durbin Amendment
  6. Oregon Senate Joint Memorial urging congress to protect the Durbin Amendment, SJM 18, 76th Session
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