Jean Chatzky
Hasn't direct depositing your paycheck made life easier? With direct deposit, there's no need to wait for a check in the mail, or find time to squeeze in a trip to the bank, and you don't have to worry about losing a paycheck. Jean talks to United States Treasurer Anna Cabral about the importance of direct deposit—particularly for senior citizens. Cabral also talks about Go Direct, a new campaign to motivate Americans to select direct deposit for their federal benefit payments, including Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Advantages of Direct Deposit

  • Direct deposit is safer than mailing checks, Cabral says. Consider Hurricane Katrina as an example of the sense of security direct deposit can offer—in the event of a tragedy, you don't have to think about where your money is on top of every other worry.
  • Direct deposit is easier because you can avoid trips to the bank.
  • Direct deposit saves the federal government a significant amount of money: $0.77 per federal benefit payment, Cabral says. If all of the Treasury's 150 million benefit checks issued annually were converted to direct deposit, it would save taxpayers approximately $120 million, Cabral says.
  • Direct deposit can lessen the risk of identity theft. Cabral says that 40 percent of people have either had their identity stolen or know someone who has. She says that as soon as you notice red flags like strange transactions or charges you didn't incur, you should contact your bank to submit a report.