Tennessee will sign a five-year and $5.5 million contract with Xerox, to have the company manage its earned benefit payment card program. Xerox will manage payment cards for some 120,000 residents receiving child support, unemployment compensation and state pension payments.
The cards will be delivered through Xerox’s Go Program, an electronic payment card solution which accelerates payments to recipients by using a reloadable MasterCard debit card. While these cards are faster for dispersing money, they have also been criticised for the hefty transaction fees that come out of payments, taking money away from already low-income citizens.
The new cards have Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) capabilities, providing enhanced security of beneficiary funds. Tennessee is one of the first state governments in the nation to provide its citizens with EMV-enhanced benefits cards.
Xerox developed a different card design for each program so that it is easy to distinguish which card to use if a citizen receives multiple benefits. The new cards were mailed to beneficiaries in late June, and the cards began receiving payments on July 1.