PA Pilots Child Support Via Plastic Cards

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The state has unveiled a pilot program that will allow divorced parents to receive their child-support payments via ATM-style debit cards, instead of paper checks.

The pilot will be operated in Dauphin County for about 6,300 child-support recipients, with plans to expand the program statewide. The change is expected to save the state, but also those unbanked recipients who must often pay high fees to cash their child-support payments.

Under the program, conducted in conjunction with MasterCard International, parents will be able to use a debit card to make purchases and get cash back with no fee. They can also go to credit unions and banks that accept MasterCard and withdraw money form their account for no fee.

The cards can also be used at ATMs that accept MasterCard, although there is a 95-cent fee.

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