Online Tool Makes it Easy to Sign up for Direct Deposit

Online Tool Makes it Easy to Sign up for Direct Deposit of Social Security Payments

WASHINGTON D.C. -- (March 15, 2006) -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks, as part of their Go Direct campaign, today announced a new online enrollment system for banks and credit unions that allows fast, convenient enrollment in direct deposit for federal benefit payments, including Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The online enrollment option is available at www.GoDirect.org.

"We recognize that many people turn to their bank or credit union first to get help with important financial matters -- including switching to direct deposit for their federal benefit payments. Our new Go Direct online enrollment tool was designed to assist our financial institution partners as they serve their customers receiving Social Security payments" said Kathy Paese, vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis. "Online enrollment is also available to any individual to sign up for direct deposit of their Social Security payment."

Go Direct is a national campaign to motivate Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other federal benefit recipients to use direct deposit. The campaign champions the Treasury's longstanding efforts to shift from paper payments to the safer, easier and more secure option of direct deposit. Go Direct reaches out to federal benefit recipients through people and organizations they know and trust -- especially financial institutions -- to inform them about the benefits of direct deposit and to help them sign up for it.

The new, easy-to-use online enrollment system for direct deposit is one more way the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks are expediting the sign-up process for everyone involved. The online enrollment system means tellers can help customers faster -- saving time and helping to promote a positive customer/member experience.

"Before we created our bank profile online, we were converting people to direct deposit using the paper mail-in forms," said Bob James, president and CEO of First Charter Bank in North Carolina. "The online system is quick and easy. It has made the sign-up process much more streamlined for our service associates and our customers are pleased we can enroll them in just a matter of minutes."

How to sign up online

The online sign-up option allows financial institutions to set up a one-time secure profile that can be used time and again by employees in multiple branches to sign up federal benefit recipients for direct deposit. Each time they enter an enrollment, the financial institution's profile will provide basic information, which means faster enrollments with fewer errors.

The online option recently became available for institutions and already dozens of financial institutions are using it, according to the Treasury.

"We have completed more than a dozen direct deposit enrollments using the Go Direct system, and we're very excited about it," said Susan Cobb, a member service representative at Ohio Catholic Federal Credit Union. "We didn't have a good way to enroll people before -- this makes it easy -- and signing up our members for direct deposit is one more way for us to show them we care."

Financial institutions may begin using online enrollment by doing the following:

1. Go to www.GoDirect.org and select "Sign up Now" on the home page.

2. Choose Option 1 -- Sign up via our secured system now.

3. Select the enrollment option that applies to you: "Financial Institutions"

4. Select "First Time User?" and follow the step-by-step instructions for registering a new user profile.

5. After activating your profile, you can immediately begin enrolling customers /members.

If you have questions about setting up a profile, call Go Direct Customer Service at (888) 382-3725 and ask to speak to a customer service representative about online enrollment.

About Go Direct

Go Direct has an established Web site, www.GoDirect.org (English) and GoDirect.org/espanol (Spanish), as well as a toll-free number to help people sign up for direct deposit: (800) 333-1795.

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