TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - In a move expected to save millions of taxpayer dollars, the federal government is transitioning to all-electronic federal benefit payments.
That means anyone who receives a Social Security check or other federal check will need to sign up for direct deposit through the federal government or with their local bank.
Renasant Bank's John Oxford said, "On Friday, the paper checks will end and customers will be forced into direct deposit."
Recipients will receive federal benefits through direct deposit at their bank or the check will be put on what's known as a Direct Express Card.
There are several ways to sign up.
Call 1-800-333-1795, www.GoDirect.org
, or sign up for direct deposit using the bank you've always used.
Oxford said, "Just go into your local bank, fill out a form, show some identification and you're ready to go. You'll receive a debit card if you choose to have one. If not, you can always go in and get cash from the teller. It's much easier than having some 1-800 number with some stranger. You'll have a local bank with a local face."
When you sign up for direct deposit, whether it's with your bank or any other option, make sure you fully understand what you're getting.
There may be certain fees depending on the account or service you choose.
Renasant officials say they've been working over the last few months to make this an easy transition to all-electronic.
Oxford said, "We've seen a pretty steady flow of seniors coming in and signing up for direct deposit. We expect to see that the rest of this week as the deadline approaches Friday."
Along with saving tax dollars, officials say direct deposit is a much safer way to bank.
Check with your local bank if you have questions about direct deposit or call the number in this story.
Anyone already receiving federal benefit payments electronically will continue to receive their money as usual on their payment day.
No action is required.