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Special Accounts

Electronic Transfer Account (ETA)

What is an Electronic Transfer Account (ETA)?

An ETA is a low-cost savings account that provides federal payment recipients with the opportunity to receive their federal payments through direct deposit. An ETA is offered only through federally insured banks, thrifts, and credit unions.

Who is qualified to open an ETA?

All federal payment recipients who receive any of the following can take advantage of an ETA:

  • Social Security
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans benefits
  • Federal employee salary or retirement
  • Railroad retirement payments

How does an ETA work?

The ETA is a voluntary program for both the consumer and the financial institution.
Banks, thrifts, and credit unions that partner with the U.S.

Treasury provide an ETA account that features:

  • A monthly fee of $3 or less
  • At least four cash withdrawals and four balance inquiries per month at no additional charge
  • No minimum balance, except as required by state law
  • Online point-of-sale transactions in the institutionís network, for example, U.S. Post Office and grocery stores
  • Monthly statements
  • The same consumer protections as other account holders

Some banks offer more or better services for their ETA program than these minimum requirements.

For example, some financial institutions might give the consumer the option to deposit other types of payments into the ETA account. Some institutions may also pay interest.

How can I open an ETA?

Look for participating banks in your area. Access the Internet and check the following website: www.eta-find.gov to find banks in your area.

Participating banks and credit unions cannot refuse to open an account regardless of your credit history unless you have previously held an ETA that was closed because of fraud.

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