Treasury plans to use prepaid debit cards for coronavirus relief payments

The Treasury Department plans to get some people their coronavirus relief payments by sending them prepaid debit cards in an effort to get people their payments faster, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet Overnight Health Care: Trump to take executive action after coronavirus talks collapse | Vaccine official says he'd resign if pressured politically Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE said Tuesday.

During a White House press briefing, Mnuchin said Treasury is "going to be supplementing our capability and sending prepaid debit cards so we can get money out quickly to people."

Mnuchin's comments come as the IRS has started to issue the one-time direct payments created under legislation President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE signed late last month. Most Americans are entitled to receive payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.


Treasury has said payments have already been sent to more than 80 million Americans via direct deposit and that paper checks started to be issued this week.

"We're very pleased. The direct deposits have gone out. We've started sending out the checks," Mnuchin said.

Earlier this month, Mnuchin indicated that prepaid debit cards could help get the payments to people who are underbanked. A Republican Senate Finance Committee aide also told reporters last month that the IRS was looking to see if it could get the payments to people through prepaid debit cards.