Joe Doherty, executive vice president and chief operating officer, ACS Government Solutions

With governments looking to stretch their budget dollars, any time we can streamline how they serve citizens can be a big plus.

Case in point, what we’re doing in Alabama.

The state had programs to help Alabamans by delivering benefits and funds on a reloadable plastic card—instead of paper checks or vouchers– making it convenient for users of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) and the state’s Medicaid Agency Non-Emergency Transportation program.

With the card programs helping both the state and its citizens, it only made sense to grow it.  That’s where we come in.  The state turned to ACS, A Xerox Company, to take over the existing card programs and expand it to include those who receive child support.

With the addition of a new program, Alabama will save even more by not having to print and mail checks, which can cost about $2.00 per check.

The new program also eliminates the need to wait for the mail carrier.  Child support recipients will now have their funds loaded instantly on a card that is accepted at thousands of retailers and ATMs, offering flexibility and no check-cashing fees. That’s important, because with paper checks, we found that child support recipients spend $9.00 in check-cashing fees. Cardholders will also avoid money-order fees, saving an estimated $4.00 to $13.00 per month.

Experiencing firsthand the savings and efficiency of electronic payment card programs, Alabama has found a successful formula.

So when a program works, expand it. We’ll be happy to help.