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Treasury starts sending 8 million stimulus payments by prepaid debit card

Treasury starts sending 8 million stimulus payments by prepaid debit card
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The Treasury Department and IRS said Thursday that this week they started distributing about 8 million second-round stimulus payments by prepaid debit card.

The announcement comes after the agencies have already made tens of millions of payments of up to $600 per adult and per child by direct deposit, and have also started to send out paper checks.

Treasury said the payments will be sent in white envelopes that prominently display the department's seal. The cards will say they are Visa debit cards on the front and will have the name of Treasury's financial agent, MetaBank, N.A., on the back.

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The addition of the Treasury seal on the envelopes is a change from when the department distributed several million stimulus payments by prepaid debit card during the first round of payments last spring. Those cards had come in plain envelopes that did not mention Treasury, causing taxpayers to be confused and concerned that they were scams.

Debit cards are being sent to people in all 50 states. Some people who received their first-round payment as a paper check may get their second-round payment by debit card, and some who got their first-round payment by debit card may get their second-round payment as a paper check, Treasury said.

People will be able to use the cards to make purchases from businesses that accept Visa debit cards, get cash from in-network ATMs and transfer money to their personal bank accounts. People will be able to get replacement cards if needed without fees, Treasury said.