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What is a Direct Deposit?

Nov 16, 2007
Direct deposit has become a very popular way for people to have money deposited into their bank account without having to actually visit the bank. Direct deposit is a form of EFT which stands for Electronic Funds Transfer.

When it comes to direct deposit, employers can electronically deposit a payroll check into an employee's bank account. This all but eliminates the need for paper checks and visits to the bank to deposit those paper checks. In the U.S. direct deposit has become very popular with many agencies and employers because it reduces the amount of time they have to spend on preparing and handing out paper checks. For some agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, where millions of checks need to be processed each month, these savings can be dramatic.

In addition to the SSA, other government agencies that use direct deposit regularly include the Veteran's Administration, state unemployment services, the Internal Revenue Service, and a whole host of other agencies.

This type of electronic transfer has many advantages. One of the most important and useful to consumers is that direct deposits will usually post faster than paper checks that are deposited by hand. This allows consumers quicker access to their money.

Another advantage that many consumers find useful, especially the elderly, is that direct deposit does not require traveling to the bank. Those who do not drive or who live a good distance from their bank find this feature especially nice.

Most consumers who use direct deposit can also have their deposit divided up so that some goes into their checking account while other portions go into savings accounts or money market accounts. For those individuals who often forget to do this or do not have the discipline to do this on their own, this can be a very good way to get money into savings' accounts on a regular basis.

In order to set up a direct deposit you will need to do a few things. You will certainly need to visit the bank and ask them for their guidelines on EFT set up. While most of the process is similar between all banks and credit unions there may be some unique features that your bank uses that you may need to know about. You will also need to visit with your employer's accounting or HR department to set up your direct deposit account. When you visit with the accounting people have a check with you as they will need to know your account number and routing number.

If you wish to set up a direct deposit with a government agency the best advice is to call the agency and get their requirements straight from them. In most cases, you will see that this is easy to do, and most of this can be handled over the phone.

Direct deposit is popular in the U.S. for a reason and that reason is it works. With today's technology advances electronic funds transfers are safe and fast and they can save you a lot of time. They are easy to set up and they can provide your money to you faster than traditional methods of using paper checks.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Cheap Credit Cards and Student Loans
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