TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey will become the 30th state to replace weekly unemployment checks with debit cards or direct deposit.
However, check-cashing businesses, which collect $521,118 each week in fees, tell the Statehouse Bureau of The Star-Ledger of Newark and The Record going paperless will inconvenience customers and cut into their profits.
The state said it will save as much as $8 million a year.
The Labor Department expects to send the last checks by February, forcing 460,000 recipients to get direct deposit or receive a Bank of America debit card.
Critics said debit cards and direct deposit could cost the unemployed more in the form of out-of-network ATM fees and overdraft charges.
Those opting for debit cards will be permitted two no-fee withdrawals per month at ATMs not operated by Bank of America. They will not pay fees for purchases from stores that accept Visa debit cards.
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