Life comes with plenty of challenges, but your banking shouldn’t be one of them. The Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) has made it easier and safer than ever before to receive your benefits electronically and to protect you from fraud. Since the program launched in December 2019, VBBP has helped ensure nearly 25,000 Veterans and beneficiaries are no longer at risk for financial fraud tied to pre-paid debit cards and paper checks.
VA is partnering with the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) to help you and your family receive and manage your VA benefits through participating military-friendly banks and credit unions in a safe, reliable and inexpensive way.
Banks accounts keep you safe and secure
You and your benefits face increasing challenges from a variety of predatory marketplace actors. For example, scams and unsavory business practices often target military members and Veterans. According to a 2019 report sponsored by AMBA and conducted by the Better Business Bureau Institute of Marketplace Trust, nearly 5,000 scam reports were filed by military consumers in 2018 alone – 30% of which noted a monetary loss, including fake check and money order scams.
VA is dedicated to helping you protect yourself from these types of threats. Receiving your benefits in a bank account that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) can offer you financial safety, easy access to your funds, savings from check-cashing fees and overall peace of mind. If you’re thinking about opening a bank account, here are the top reasons to “Get Banked.”
Direct deposit arms you against financial fraud
According to the FDIC, direct deposit is the best weapon in your arsenal to fight against financial fraud. With direct deposit, your money is immediately accessible in your account. This eliminates the risk of stolen checks and forgeries, and it helps protect you from identity theft. Direct deposit works by transferring funds directly into your account through a highly secure, electronic banking system – not the internet. It is the same system used by the world’s leading financial institutions.
For more information
If you receive federal monetary benefits as a Veteran or beneficiary, then you are eligible to participate in the program. If you have a bank account, the fastest way to set up direct deposit is to call 1-800-827-1000 and provide your account information to one of our agents (if you use a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, the federal number is 711), or go online to va.gov/change-direct-deposit.
If you do not have a bank account, VA can help you access a trusted network banks and credit unions. To identify participating banks and get more information about VBBP, please visit https://benefits.va.gov/banking, https://veteransbenefitsbanking.org/banks/ or follow #VeteransBenefitsBanking on social media. If you have any questions, please call VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.
Craig Coleman is a public affairs specialist at VBA’s Office of Strategic Engagement.