North Carolina will switch its unemployment benefits debit card carrier to Bank of America in August, the North Carolina Division of Employment Security has announced.
Unemployment debit card holders whose benefits will not have been exhausted or ended by August should receive the new card beginning in mid-July, according to a statement. Claimants who receive the benefits via direct deposit will not be affected.
“By switching to a new debit card provider, our customers will benefit by incurring fewer and lower fees associated with the new card and enjoying more access points,” Dale Folwell, Department of Commerce assistant secretary of employment security, said in the statement.
Xerox now provides the unemployment debit cards in North Carolina, although the funding is actually stored at Wells Fargo, said Chris Farr, director of government and public relations at the state DES.
The state decided to switch to Bank of America after the bank won an agreement with the Office of State Controller on behalf of all state agencies, Farr said. The volume-buying got customers lower fees, but it’s up to each state agency to decide whether to switch, she said.
The state recommends debit card holders activate the new card as soon as they receive it, although payments won’t be posted on it until August. The old cards won’t receive payments after then, but claimants can continue using them until the balance runs out.