May 18 (UPI) -- The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced Monday that they have begun to send nearly 4 million Economic Impact Payments to Americans by prepaid debit card.
The agencies issued a statement announcing that the payments of up to $1,200 for individual taxpayers will be mailed to some Americans by these debit cards beginning this week, rather than paper checks as previously announced.
"Treasury and the IRS have been working with unprecedented speed to issue Economic Impact Payments to American families. Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. "Recipients can immediately activate and use these cards safely."
Americans who receive the prepaid debit cards will be able to make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts using the cards without incurring any fees.
The cards can be used online, at ATMs, or any retailers that accept Visa cards and recipients can check their card balance online, via a mobile app or by phone.
Eligible taxpayers who had not yet received their payments were required to provide the IRS with any necessary bank information by last week in order to receive their payment as a direct deposit instead of through the mail.
The Treasury Department said it has already delivered 140 million Economic Impact Payments by direct deposit and checks.