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Veteran Advisor

FSA Will Now Take Your Debit Card

I just received this news release, from FSA, across my desk. What do you think? Will this make life easier for you?

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is expanding its payment options to now accept debit cards and Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit. These paperless payment options enable FSA customers to pay farm loan payments, measurement service fees, farm program debt repayments and administrative service fees, as well as to purchase aerial maps. 

“Our customers have spoken, and we’ve listened,” said Bill Northey, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “Finding ways to improve customer service and efficiency is important for our farmers, ranchers, producers, and forest landowners who work hard for our nation every day. Now, our customers can make electronic payments instantly by stopping in our offices or calling over the phone.” 

Previously, only cash, check, money orders and wires were accepted. By using debit cards and ACH debit, transactions are securely processed from the customer’s financial institution through Pay.gov, the U.S. Treasury’s online payment hub.  

While traditional collection methods like cash and paper checks will continue, offering the new alternatives will improve effectiveness and convenience to customers while being more cost effective. In 2017, the average cost to manually process checks, a process that included navigating multiple systems, cost USDA more than $4.6 million. The expanded payment options will cut the time employees take processing payments by 75 percent.  

“At USDA, we’re focused on modernization to improve customer service,” said Northey. “If half of our customers use these new payment options, we’ll see a $1 million savings in one year. These new payment methods are one part of a much larger effort to expand options for our customers, as well as to make our services more effective and efficient.” 

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a multi-phased roll-out of new payment options for USDA customers. Ultimately, payment option flexibility will be extended to allow farmers and producers to use debit cards and ACH debit payments to make payments for all FSA programs, including farm storage facility loan repayments, farm loan facility fees, marketing assistance loan repayments, Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) administrative fees and premiums and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) fees.  

To learn more, contact your FSA county officevisit farmers.gov, or download the “Make Your FSA Payments Instantly” fact sheet.  

 

Mike

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3 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: FSA Will Now Take Your Debit Card

 Mike,   What a flashy way to say we are intolerant and want paid on time with a guarantee.  No mail delays, no chance of leniency.   We will not wait for collections processes.

 

That second paragraph........ Mike see if you can find 20 farmers in Iowa who have been asking for this.  Or even 5?  Who wants to give a government agency full access to their personal bank account?   Asking for a cashiers check makes sense but this is excessive IMO.

Veteran Advisor

Re: FSA Will Now Take Your Debit Card

$1,000,000.oo  in  savings ,   and  put  it  towards  the talk  of  the  move  to  setting  up  shop  in  Kansas City  area  -  -  -

Seems  interesting  anyone  involved  with  a  Billion  $$$$  deficit  setting  would  even  rec-o- niZe  a  number  that  small  -  maybe ?    

Honored Advisor

Re: FSA Will Now Take Your Debit Card

and half of that million in savings is a direct loss to the postal service...... 

It is a wonder fsa isnt asking us to email our bank account numbers.  weekly.....   the way information gets misplaced in those offices ------ I been practicing my writing ..... so I can fit all the information they need written on maps .... although this month the maps saved me ........ last year I had to pay the late file penalty on every field and farm they didn't get correct on computer entry...... for instance our soybeans from the map, were entered as grain sorghum.  When insurance caught the mistake, fsa made us refile and pay a late fee.

Not the lender of first choice for several reasons.

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