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ICBA Promotes Go Direct in Partnership with US Treasury

Direct Deposit is Safest, Fastest Way to Receive Federal Payments

Washington, D.C. (February 4, 2010)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has joined with the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve in promoting Go Direct Month to encourage Americans to use direct deposit for their Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other federal benefit payments.

“Direct deposit is the safest, fastest and most convenient way to receive your Social Security or other federal benefit payments,” said R. Michael Menzies, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Easton Bank and Trust Co., Easton, Md. “ICBA has been proud to partner with the Treasury in reaching out to community bankers and their customers through the Go Direct initiative since the beginning of this program. Now, with so many baby boomers ready to retire and receive their government benefits, this program is more important than ever.”

Through direct deposit, Treasury electronically transfers beneficiaries’ payments into their checking or savings accounts. There is no check involved, and the payment is there when the individual’s community bank opens on payment day. In addition, direct deposit helps protect people from fraud and identity theft often associated with mailed paper checks.

Menzies noted that people who use direct deposit have more control over their money because they can be confident the payment will appear in their bank account at the same time every month. “Knowing that your benefits are immediately available in your account on the date of payment allows you to bank on your own terms,” he said.

The campaign makes it easy for people to sign up for direct deposit. They can call the Go Direct helpline at (800) 333-1795, visit www.GoDirect.org (English) and www.DirectoASuCuenta.org (Spanish) to sign up online or stop by their local community bank or Social Security Administration office to make the switch.