The benefits of "electronic" banking--and Direct Deposit in particular--include convenience, immediate access to deposits and personal safety. You no longer need to make a trip to the bank or grocery store to cash your check, wait for a check to clear, or carry large amounts of cash.

To encourage Federal check recipients to consider an account at a financial institution and use Direct Deposit, the Department of the Treasury recently introduced an easy and affordable option-the Electronic Transfer Account (ETA). The new ETA is available through participating Federally insured financial institutions, including banks, savings and loans, and credit unions.

The account, which provides the full range of consumer protections, is available to any one who receives a Federal benefit, wage, salary or retirement payment. Features of an ETA include-

  • a maximum cost of $3.00 per month;
  • a minimum of four cash withdrawals per month.
  • Your bank, savings and loan, or credit union will tell you whether you can get your money from a teller, an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or both. If you use ATMs at certain locations - it may cost extra;
  • no minimum balance, unless the law requires it;
  • a monthly statement listing all deposits and withdrawals; and
  • federally insured accounts.

For more information about the ETA or to locate an ETA provider near you, visit the Department of the Treasury, ETA website at http://www.eta-find.gov/ or contact the ETA call center at 1-888-382-3311.