State Treasurer Don Stenberg reported today that 95 percent of the dollar amount of payments made by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office in 2013 were made electronically, an all-time high.
Specifically, more than $9 billion of the more than $9.46 billion paid out by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office in calendar year 2013 was sent electronically to the bank accounts or stored value cards of local government entities, state employees, vendors, contractors, and taxpayers.
At the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center, a division of the State Treasurer’s Office, the percent of payments made electronically was even higher, Stenberg said. In 2013, almost 98 percent of child support payments received from non-custodial parents and paid out by the center went electronically into the bank accounts and stored value cards of custodial parents.
Specifically, 97.85 percent of the more than $295 million in child support disbursed to custodial parents in 2013 was paid electronically, he said.
“This is good news for Nebraska taxpayers,” Treasurer Stenberg said. “Electronic payments are faster, safer, and more efficient. The use of electronic means to make payments has allowed the State Treasurer’s Office to reduce costs associated with printing paper checks as well as purchasing envelopes and paying for postage.”
“Our policy is to make as many payments as possible by electronic means. In addition to being faster and safer for recipients, electronic payments reduce our office expenses and staff time spent on managing and processing paper checks. We also encourage those making payments to the state to use electronic means as well. Receiving money electronically allows for more efficient cash management practices, increased availability of funds, and automated posting of payments,” Stenberg said.
One measure that has been put in place to encourage electronic payments is an agreement between the State Treasurer’s Office and the State Department of Administrative Services that requires vendors receiving payments exceeding $25,000 or multiple payments a year from the state to sign up to be paid electronically. While the agreement provides some exclusions, all state agencies are encouraged to pay for large-dollar and reoccurring payments by electronic means, Stenberg said.
Some of the ways electronic payments are made by the state are Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, stored value cards or branded prepaid debit cards, and purchasing cards.