Oklahomans will have a faster and more convenient way to access unemployment insurance benefits, following an announcement today that Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (NYSE: ACS) will provide the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission with electronic payment card (EPC) services. The system will become active December 1, 2008.
Under the five-year agreement, unemployment insurance benefits will be available on a MasterCard-branded debit card that can be used to access funds at banks and ATMs, and to pay for goods and services. Through a partnership with Bank of Oklahoma, cardholders will receive special opportunities for fee-free ATM and teller withdrawals.
The EPC solution means lower costs for the state to produce and mail benefit checks, and fewer returned, lost, or stolen checks. Clients gain more secure access to funds, freedom from fees at check cashing outlets, and the convenience of a debit card widely accepted by retailers.
"ACS not only has helped the state become more efficient, but also created a system that significantly improves the experience for our citizens," said Jon Brock, executive director of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. "The electronic payment card is a win-win solution for Oklahoma."
EPC for benefits and payments in the government area is an innovation pioneered by ACS, and is used by 15 states and the federal government. In Oklahoma, EPC is also used to access child support payments, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and State Supplemental Payments.
"For states that use electronic payment cards for unemployment insurance, EPC has proven to save millions of dollars each year, along with added convenience and security," said Joe Doherty, executive vice president and group president of ACS' Government Solutions Group. "Our EPC solution is just one way that ACS is committed to helping state agencies make a real difference for their constituents."
ACS is the largest provider of BPO services and one of the largest IT service providers to the nation's public sector. Each year ACS processes more than half of the nation's child support payments; processes nearly 550 million Medicaid claims totalling more than $42 billion in payments; handles more than half of the electronic toll transactions in the US; facilitates more than 185 million online searches for unclaimed property; and services student loans for more than nine million borrowers.