Federal Reserve Board’s Annual Report on Government-Administered Prepaid Cards

In July 2014, the Federal Reserve Board released its annual report to Congress on government-administered prepaid card programs. The survey focused on the use of prepaid cards by government offices and on fees collected by issuers.

The study reports that of 205 government programs (which disbursed a total of $1.054 trillion to recipients), $142 billion, or 13.5 percent, was distributed through prepaid cards.

This includes programs such as Social Security benefits, payroll programs and veterans’ benefits, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program through prepaid cards.

The study also reports that in 2013, issuers collected $327 million in interchange fees and $175 million in cardholder fees
across the programs for which survey results were reported.

The entire report can be accessed at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/otherreports/files/government-prepaidreport-