Division of Employment Security Successfully Transitions to New Debit Cards for Unemployment Benefits

RALEIGH — The Division of Employment Security (DES) has completed the process of changing its debit card provider to Bank of America.

DES sent tens of thousands of informational packages and new VISA debit cards to eligible customers who re-ceive their unemployment insurance benefits via debit card.

In an effort to better serve customers, the Division of Employment Security (DES) began using the new debit cards on August 1. Customers will benefit by incurring fewer and lower fees associated with the new card and enjoying more access points. This change was due to the state master service agreement negotiated by the Office of State Controller on behalf of all state agencies. The state volume-buying got the lowest fees.

“The DES team and the Bank of America team, working together, made this successful transition to the new debit card look relatively easy,” said Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary of Employment Security Dale Folwell. “New programs are never easy. It involved months of planning and precise implementation by Bank of America and DES employees from our information technology, unemployment insurance, benefit payment con-trol, customer call center and public relations departments.”

New cards were issued to each claimant who met the following criteria: they had received benefits via the debit card, their benefit year had not ended, and their benefits were not exhausted.

Claimants should activate their new cards immediately. However, the old cards should not be thrown away. Claimants should continue using their old MasterCard debit cards until the balance is zero.

More information is available on the DES website at www.ncesc.com.