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MasterCard And Comerica Team Up With New York City Startup PayPerks To Reward Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® Cardholders For Learning

DALLAS, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank and MasterCard, in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), today announced that Direct Express ® Debit MasterCard ® cardholders will soon have access to a customized version of PayPerks: a financial education platform that rewards users for engaging with its web- and mobile-based financial literacy curriculum.  This is the first implementation of PayPerks as an optional feature on MasterCard's federal, state and local government prepaid programs, originally announced at the White House Summit on Financial Capability and Empowerment. 

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20010807/CMALOGO)

The PayPerks curriculum consists of dozens of illustrated tutorials on financial literacy topics ranging from how to create a budget to how to start saving.  To ensure Direct Express ® cardholders receive relevant, actionable, and engaging content, PayPerks has created dozens of educational modules specific to helping Direct Express ® cardholders minimize fees and maximize the safety and convenience benefits of their MasterCard-branded prepaid debit card.  The modules are designed to take only a few minutes apiece to complete, and are subtitled, in multiple languages, in understandable and straightforward language. 

The addition of PayPerks to the Direct Express ® card program represents an innovative effort to help Treasury ease the transition from paper checks to electronic payments.  Introduced in June 2008, the Direct Express ® card has helped more than 3 million Americans – two-thirds of whom did not have traditional bank accounts when they signed up for the card – to safely and easily access their federal benefit payments electronically. However, approximately 5.2 million paper checks are still sent to federal benefit recipients each month. Treasury is urging these individuals to switch to electronic payment well ahead of the March 1, 2013, the deadline for all federal benefits to be paid electronically.      

"Cardholders equipped with information on how best to use their card benefit not only themselves but also the overall program," said Walt Henderson, Director, EFT Strategy Division at Department of the Treasury.  "We believe the PayPerks approach can educate and encourage cardholders to understand the benefits of the card and the best ways to use it.

The PayPerks platform has been undergoing rigorous user testing and will remain in a closed beta until early Q1-2013 when all Direct Express cardholders will gain access to the platform.  Cardholders will be educated on the PayPerks program through direct mail, statement inserts, and customer service representatives.

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