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Financial tech companies say they are helping Americans outside the traditional banking system get their coronavirus-related stimulus money via direct deposit.
E-commerce payment giant PayPal is one of several companies, including Cash App, Simple and Chime, that is notifying customers that it offers routing and account numbers, which are needed to accept stimulus checks by direct deposit, according to a recent company press release.
“For the 25% of Americans outside of the financial system (FDIC Survey) digital payment [systems] like PayPal provide the ability to participate in the digital economy, while also avoiding costly fees,” Tom Hunter, a global consumer communications representative at PayPal told FOX Business. “In the current environment, we know that fast, easy, safe and secure access to stimulus payments is of high importance to people. By electing to receive the payment through PayPal, recipients can avoid going to a physical check-cashing location, or even missing a paper check if they are sheltering in place at a different address to their registered address.”
He added that customers who use PayPal to receive their deposit can spend their stimulus funds wherever PayPal is accepted immediately, withdraw to a bank account or hold the balance for future use.
The IRS rolled out a "Get My Payment" tool Wednesday, allowing individuals who are eligible for the $1,200 stimulus to enter their banking information and check the status of their payment.
Customers who have a PayPal Cash Plus account and PayPal Cash Card will be able to receive their Economic Impact Payment through direct deposit after they set up payment directions through the IRS portal. Anyone who does not have an account or debit card through PayPal can sign up and request a card online.
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Account and routing numbers associated with a PayPal profile can be found under the settings section of a PayPal account.
Signing up for PayPal Cash Plus, PayPal Cash Card and PayPal Direct Deposit is free.
Customers who have used PayPal Direct Deposit for transferring 2018 or 2019 federal income tax returns to their PayPal Cash Plus account should receive their payment automatically, according to the company’s statement, which aligns with the guidelines published by the IRS.
Stimulus payments are said to be transferred to these accounts in the same way.
If you have used another alternative fintech banking service to receive your tax returns in the last two years via direct deposit such as the Cash App, Venmo (a PayPal subsidiary), Aspiration, Moven, Varo and any other platforms that provide an account and routing number for checkings and/or savings, your stimulus check will be deposited there.
PayPal added that it is working with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to “offer more ways to get your stimulus payment into your PayPal account.”
People who do not provide banking information such as an account number and routing number will not be able to receive a digital direct deposit and will have to wait for a physical paper check to be mailed out to them, which may take up until August to process, according to the Associated Press.
Americans who are on veterans disability compensation, a pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or are at an income level that does not require a filed tax return can receive an Economic Impact Payment as well after they submit their banking information to the IRS via FreeFileFillableForms.com as noted in the agency’s non-filer guidelines.
If stimulus check eligibility is a concern, TurboTax has created a calculator that can help determine payment amounts by income bracket, filing status and other key details in addition to its dedicated portal that provides coronavirus stimulus updates.