If you are not familiar with Eppicard, it is a card used in 23 states to pay Child Support and Unemployment benefits to eligible recipients. Currently, about 23 states use the Eppicard, including the state of Utah, which uses the card to administer their child support program. The states do not actually administer the program themselves. They have all contracted the running of the program to a private company – Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), which is a division of Xerox.
As a government prepaid debit card, one would expect that there will be low fees – and where there are fees, they will be for services that are really adding value to the customer experience. This is particularly true since the government passed the CARD ACT to protect consumers from unreasonable prepaid card fees. It is therefore surprising that some Eppicard holders in certain states are being charged fees for calling Eppicard customer service regarding their cards. If you are not sure if your state’s Eppicard charges for calling customer service, review the program materials that came with your card.
Even if there is justification for the fees, which we find hard to believe, customers are not getting their money’s worth since it’s close to impossible to get in contact with Eppicard customer service and when you do, they are not very helpful in addressing even the basic questions about the card. One therefore has to ask if the states will be better off running their own programs rather than outsourcing to a third party.