NR No. 23-47
Contact: Loree Levy/Aubrey Henry
Transition to new prepaid debit cards with microchips, direct deposit option
SACRAMENTO - The Employment Development Department (EDD) is changing banks for delivery of unemployment (UI), disability (DI), and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits. The transition from Bank of America to Money Network will begin with issuing new, enhanced prepaid debit cards with microchips, followed by providing a new direct deposit option later in the new year. Starting Monday, December 4, 2023, the EDD will send letters to about 850,000 Californians with active benefit claims informing them of key transition dates and actions.
The EDD is incorporating best practices learned from other states to help ensure a smooth transition for customers. The letters are informing customers that those who will still be actively certifying for UI, DI, or PFL benefits after January 15, should be on the lookout for the new Money Network prepaid debit cards in the weeks that follow. These new cards will not have any funds loaded on them, giving these customers time to get the new card and activate it prior to the official benefit payment switch to Money Network on February 15, 2024.
Claimants can continue using their current Bank of America prepaid debit cards the way they normally do, for now. Notifications will be sent through various channels, including email and text messages, over the next few months to inform claimants about important dates and changes.
In 2022, the EDD chose Money Network after a competitive procurement process, as EDD’s contract with Bank of America was ending. Money Network is part of Fiserv, the largest provider of financial services technology worldwide. Through Money Network, EDD customers will have access to secure chip cards and tap-to-pay technology to help protect EDD customers against fraud and skimming attacks. Money Network also has the vast resources and network necessary for the EDD to provide the new direct deposit option and enhanced customer communication.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why transition to Money Network?
Money Network, as part of Fiserv, has the resources and secure systems needed to support the large number of customers who rely on EDD benefit programs, especially during periods of high demand in economic downturns. The partnership with Money Network will allow the EDD to provide the direct deposit of benefit payments into customer bank accounts coming in the new year, along with enhanced support for customer communications which includes 24/7 contact center assistance in multiple languages, giving all customers convenient access to their accounts.
- What will be required of UI, DI, and PFL customers during this transition?
The EDD is identifying customers actively collecting benefits to notify them of key transition dates.
- EDD customers should make sure their mailing address is up to date to ensure they receive the Money Network prepaid debit card and future communications. They can either do so online by logging in to myEDD, selecting UI Online or SDI Online, and then Profile, or by contacting their EDD benefit program.
- From late January 2024, be on the lookout for the new Money Network prepaid debit cards mailed to customers who are actively receiving benefits at the time. The card will arrive in an envelope from the EDD, but with a return address of Omaha, Nebraska, where the cards are manufactured.
- The EDD and Bank of America will inform customers about important dates on how current cards will be closed out.
- The Bank of America cards will remain active until April 15, 2024, and customers are encouraged to withdraw or transfer any remaining balance on the card before that date.
- The option to select direct deposit for benefit payments will be available to customers starting in the spring.
- Where can Californians get information about this transition?
The EDD will provide updates through various channels such as letters, emails, text messages, social media posts, phone lines, website, and news releases. Check the EDD's debit card webpage for updates.