Coronavirus stimulus cash could come on prepaid cards

Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

While many individuals are expecting to receive their economic impact payments via direct deposit or paper check – some may actually receive the cash on a prepaid card.

While noting that people would likely prefer to receive the cash through their direct deposit accounts, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a ruling issued on Monday night acknowledged that not everyone would have that option.

For those individuals, the agency noted that prepaid cards, where a designated amount of money is loaded on in advance, may be “faster, more secure, more convenient, and less expensive – for both the government agency and the consumer – than making disbursements through other methods such as paper check.”

RELATED: Man waiting for stimulus payment finds $8.2M in his bank account: report

There have been concerns raised about how individuals in unbanked or underbanked regions might be able to access their economic impact payments, specifically since the White House is encouraging all Americans to shift toward electronic method where possible.

Earlier in the day, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the payments were moving ahead of schedule, with 80 million Americans set to receive their direct deposit payments by Wednesday.

Paper checks will not begin being processed until next week – a process that could reportedly take months to fully complete.

RELATED: Florida Surgeon General says social distancing, wearing face masks might be the new normal

For individuals who want their checks sooner, the IRS is opening a web page on Wednesday that will allow people to give the tax agency their direct deposit information. According to Mnuchin, they will receive the money in those accounts “within several days.” He urged as many people as possible to take advantage of the electronic process.

Payments will be $1,200 per adult for those with adjusted gross incomes of up to $75,000. The threshold for married couples is $150,000 – they are eligible for $2,400 and $500 per child.

If you have not yet filed your return for 2019, the agency will use your information from 2018. If you have not filed for either year, the IRS urges you to do so as soon as possible to receive a payment.

Get updates at