A new online payment option is being made available to non-custodial parents who pay child support through the Nebraska State Child Support Payment Center, State Treasurer Don Stenberg announced today.
The first payment through the new Secure Vault Payments® option was made by a father in Portland, Ore., just hours after the service was initiated. More than $1 million in child support payments are processed daily at the Child Support Payment Center, a division of the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office.
“Our overriding concern at the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center is to make sure children receive the financial support they need and the opportunities they deserve to live happy, healthy lives,” said State Treasurer Stenberg. “We are intent on doing whatever we can to make that happen. By providing the Secure Vault Payments option, we are offering yet another secure and convenient means for non-custodial parents to stay current with their child support obligations and to make their payments on time and in full.”
Secure Vault Payments (SVP) allows parents to make child support payments electronically without having to share their bank routing number or bank account number with the state. The option, which became available Dec. 5 to non-custodial parents who are customers of financial institutions offering the service, also does not require convenience fees. U.S. Bank currently is the only bank in Nebraska offering Secure Vault Payments, but state officials are hoping other Nebraska banks will soon follow suit.
To offer SVP as an online payment option, an organization must be sponsored by a financial institution that provides the SVP service. The Nebraska Child Support Center was sponsored by U. S. Bank.
The Nebraska Child Support Payment Center is the first child support payment center in the United States to offer Secure Vault Payments, said Troy Reiners, director of the center. The option is good for the state as well as for parents paying child support because funds are verified and secured at the time of the transaction, he said. With SVP, the state avoids problems associated with insufficient fund checks, stop-pay notices, or other returns on bank accounts after payments have been made to custodial parents. Federal regulations require payments to custodial parents to be disbursed within two business days of receipt of the child support.
An estimated 73 percent of payments coming into the Child Support Payment Center are made electronically, through electronic funds transfer, credit or debit card payments, online bill payments, and employer remittances. The addition of Secure Vault Payments is expected to result in even more payments being received electronically. The Nebraska Child Support Payment Center posts billings for more than 98,000 non-custodial parents, most living in Nebraska. An estimated 30,000 of them, however, do not pay regularly.
“The increasing use of electronic payments through the State Treasurer’s Office reflects my continuing commitment to save taxpayers’ money through the implementation of technology,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
The use of Secure Vault Payments is not the only innovative practice at the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center. The center was recognized earlier this year by the Hudson Institute of Washington, D.C., for using prepaid debit cards to distribute child support payments to custodial parents. More than 97 percent of all disbursements to custodial parents are done electronically by direct deposit or prepaid debit cards, reducing the cost of paper, printing, and postage
With Secure Vault Payments, a non-custodial parent initiates the payment at the Child Support Center’s website:
The parent is automatically redirected to his or her bank’s online banking platform to select the account to use for payment. The participating financial institution authenticates the payer and immediately withdraws funds from the payer’s account and then transfers funds to the Child Support Center the next business day.
“U.S. Bank is committed to providing merchants and billers with innovative solutions to increase the efficiency of their payment collection and to enhance their customers’ satisfaction,” said Eric Lim, vice president and senior product manager for U.S. Bank Treasury Management. “We believe Secure Vault Payments provides compelling benefits as an online consumer payment option for many industries including government, higher education and non-profits.”
Secure Vault Payments was developed by NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association to reduce paper checks and increase use of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network. NACHA is both an industry trade association and the administrator of the ACH Network. The SVP technology that transfers users between the biller’s site and the financial institution’s site is provided by eWise, the exclusive network provider for SVP. While U.S. Bank is the only bank with offices in Nebraska to provide Secure Vault Payments, banks in other states also provide the service. For a list of financial institutions, merchants and billers offering SVP as a consumer online payment option, visit www.securevaultpayments.com.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. U.S. Bank provides multiple banking services and treasury management solutions to State of Nebraska agencies.
About the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office
The Nebraska Child Support Payment Center, located at 233 S. 10th St., is one of five divisions of the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office. The other divisions are Treasury Management, Unclaimed Property, the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (NEST), and the Nebraska Long-Term Care Savings Program. The collection and distribution of child support payments was centralized in the State Treasurer’s Office in December 2001. Learn more about the Treasurer’s Office at www.treasurer.org.