Another round of stimulus payments may be sent to citizens to help weather the economic impact of the global pandemic that simply won’t retreat. A decision on when and how much is still going through the political process so it will likely take weeks before a final decision is made. Another round will require financial institutions to staff up call centers and other customer support channels to field inquiries about their deposit.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the IRS is in a much better position this time to deliver payments quickly. The agency now has account information for millions more individuals than with the first round:
Since the IRS has already assembled the data it needs to deliver the first-stimulus payment, they should be able to deliver a second payment fairly quickly and at a lower administrative cost,” said Jack Smalligan, a former Office of Management and Budget official.
Once Congress reaches an agreement and includes payments in a broader economic-relief package, the IRS and Treasury Department will start preparing to send out the money. The more complex the criteria and the more they differ from the first round, the longer it might take to get payments out.
The first time around, 81 million ACH direct deposit transactions were made and 14 million people used the portal on the IRS website to enter their account information or their prepaid card information so they too could receive a direct deposit. The IRS has retained this account information to expedite the potential second round.
Additional payments were sent through a prepaid card. It was widely reported that some consumers thought the prepaid card was a hoax and threw them away. Hopefully that doesn’t repeat itself.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group