Visa, BofA Team Up In Switch To Debit Cards For Jobless Benefits

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The new BofA/Visa debit card to aid in jobless benefits. (credit: EDD)

The new BofA/Visa debit card to aid in jobless benefits. (credit: EDD)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Two of the nation’s biggest financial services firms are getting into the unemployment insurance business in California.

Visa and Bank of America are partnering with the state to send out an estimated 10,000 debit cards per day instead of unemployment checks.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the transition will continue for the next couple of months until all recipients have completely switched over to plastic.

“You can use these cards at grocery stores, gas stations,” said Pam Harris of the Employment Development Department.

The state is expected to save millions of dollars by switching to the debit card system, while people who receive unemployment can access their benefits a lot faster — and without getting hit up for fees.

“Our customers can indeed avoid paying fees with careful use of their EDD debit card,” said Harris.

Over one million residents in California are currently receiving unemployment benefits, while 400,000 more getting disability payments have already made the switch to plastic.

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