WASHINGTON (12/12/08)—Credit unions and other financial institutions can gain official recognition for efforts to promote direct deposit among senior citizens, veterans, people with disabilities and other who receive federal benefits. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Go Direct
campaign will launch a six-month program, called the Community Ambassadors, in January. It will be aimed at small- and medium-sized financial institutions. Institutions that fulfill the Community Ambassador requirements for active participation during the January 2009 to June 2009 period will receive a letter of recognition and certificate from the Treasury’s Go Direct
campaign. Requirements include such actions as coaching tellers to tell members about the benefits of direct deposit of government checks, circulating statement messages, and displaying Web banners. The Go Direct
campaign reminds that among the benefits to members:
* Direct deposit is safer and easier than paper checks – in fact, when there is a problem with a Social Security payment, nine times out of 10 it is with a paper check, not a direct deposit payment; * Direct deposit also provides “green” benefits by reducing the paper and energy required to distribute checks; and * Direct deposit saves taxpayers money. Since it was launched in 2005, the Go Direct campaign has generated more than two million enrollments in direct deposit representing significant savings to taxpayers in printing, mailing and other costs.
Go Direct also administers a "Go Direct Champions" program to recognize all participant financial institutions that exceed the national average, in their size category, for signing up federal benefits recipients for direct deposit. The Credit Union National Association is a Go Direct