Government benefits departments in Canada can now instantly issue open-loop, reloadable prepaid cards, which reduce costs by eliminating the need for checks.

The efficiency gain comes as DataCard Group, which provides card personalization and secure ID products, updated its DataCard CardWizard instant issuance software to allow for Electronic Benefit Transfer programs.

Government officials can now capture information for the benefits disbursement process, including authentication and accessing and synchronizing case management, plus manage funds of the prepaid cards.

“We established a prepaid benefit card instant issuance solution for the Canadian public sector using MasterCard prepaid open loop cards,” says David Orzel, senior vice president of market development at MasterCard Canada, in an Oct. 29 press release. “This product offers cardholders in EBT program a more efficient and controlled process for the disbursement of funds.”

CardWizard software works by capturing and transferring data to a DataCard hardware printer. The card is then personalized to the cardholder and instantly issued, with approved funds, at a government benefits services location. Officials are also able to electronically transfer funds to the cardholder’s account.

Cardholders choose their own PINs and the cards can be used to withdraw funds at ATMs and merchant terminals as soon as they’re issued.

DataCard has offered card issuance products and card printers for more than 40 years. The company currently provides service in more than 120 North American, Latin American and Asian Pacific countries. DataCard’s integrated platform, Secure Issuance Anywhere, includes software, hardware, global support and NFC and EMV card programs.

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