General Program Information
The Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) offers an Electronic Payment Issuance Card (EPiC) as the alternative choice to receiving child and spousal support payments by mail or direct deposit. EPiC is a Visa Debit Card. EPiC makes it easier, faster and safer for families to receive monthly child support payments.
You do not need to have a bank account to receive a card and use EPiC. If you have a checking account, you may apply instead for Direct Deposit.
EPiC provides access to your funds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can use your EPiC to make purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. You will also have cash access via PIN-based point-of-sale (POS) terminals and ATMs.
Here’s how the cards work:
- Enrollment in EPiC is automated. Approximately 30 days after you receive your first payment by check you will receive your EPiC.
- Whenever you are due to receive a payment, CSEA will send the funds by Electronic Funds Transfer to your EPiC.
- You can then use EPiC to make purchases or withdrawals until the funds are exhausted.
- You cannot make any additional deposits to the account. Only CSEA can fund the card.
- This is not a credit card and attempting to use your card for purchases that exceed your balance will result in the transaction being declined.
If you currently have a bank account and would prefer to receive your child support payment via direct deposit into your existing bank account, please call 1-800-332-6347 to request a direct deposit form. You may also pick up this form at your local Child Support Office or download and print it.
CONVENIENCE & FLEXIBILITY
This new prepaid debit card is a particularly useful option for recipients that don’t have bank accounts. The cards are secure, easy to use, and provide many options for making withdrawals and purchases.
Benefits of the card include:
- No more check-cashing fees
- Accepted everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, including in store, online or by phone purchases
- Access to cash provided at point of sale* terminals, ATMs and at Visa banks and credit unions
- Easy bill payment in person or online
- Convenient budgeting tool – access only the funds you need, when you need them
- Convenient account information and customer service – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Secure and convenient fund transfers from EPiC to an existing bank account
* Point of sale: a retail merchant that accepts debit cards.
In most cases, recipients won’t have to pay a fee to make purchases or withdraw cash from a bank or ATM (see Fee Schedule below). Cardholders have free access to thousands of Bank of America in-network ATMs in Maryland, neighboring states, and nationwide. Online ATM-finders are available for Bank of America ATMs on Bank of America’s website.
Schedule of Bank Fees
|Services with No Fees|
|Purchases at merchants (signed, using PIN, online, phone or mail purchase)||No Fee|
|Bank of America ATM Withdrawal (in the U.S.)||No Fee|
|ATM Balance Inquiries (all ATMs)||No Fee|
|Declined Transactions (ATMs only)||No Fee|
|Online, Automated, Live or International Cusomer Service Inquiry||No Fee|
|Account Alert Service||No Fee|
|Online Funds Transer||No Fee|
|Services with Fees|
|ATM Transaction Fees*|
|Non Bank of America ATM Withdrawal (in the U.S.)||ONE FREE per week then $1.50 per transaction|
|ATM Withdrawal International (all ATMs outside the U.S.)||$3.50 per transaction|
|Other Service Fees|
|Cash Access (Available at financial institutions that accept Visa cards. Limited to available balance only)||No Fee for first withdrawal each week, $5.00 thereafter|
|Emergency Cash Transfer for remaining account balance (under $20.00)**||1 waived per year|
|Emergency Cash Transfer (in the U.S.)**||$15.00 per transaction|
|Emergency Cash Transfer (outsdie the U.S.)**||$30.00 per transaction|
|Card Replacement Domestic||No fee for first replacment each year, $2.50 thereafter|
|Card Replacement – Express Delivery (additional charge)||$15.00 per request|
|Card Replacement International (outside the U.S.)||Quote provided at time of request as price varies by country|
|International Transaction Fee||2% of U.S. Dollar amount of transaction|
|Legal Processing Fee||$100 (or such amount as may be set by law)|
*ATM owners may impose an additional “convenience fee” or “surcharge fee” for certain ATM transactions (a sign should be posted at the ATM to Indicate additional fees); however, you will not be charged any additional convenience or surcharge fees at a Bank of America ATM. A Bank of America ATM means an ATM that prominently displays the Bank of America name and logo. Balance inquiries may not be available at all ATMs outside of the U.S.
An ATM Transaction Decline occurs when you request an amount greater than your balance or you incorrectly enter your PIN more than four times.
**All Emergency Cash Transfers must be initiated through the Prepaid Debit Card Customer Service Center.
NOTE: For any questions related to the above fee schedule, please call the Prepaid Debit Card Customer Service Center at 1-866-213-4074 TTY: 1-866-656-5913 Collect, when calling outside the U.S. :423-262-1650 For any questions regarding your child support benefits payment amounts and scheduled dates of additions to your account, please call the MD Child Support Enforcement Administration at 1-800-723-9937
There are thousands of merchants and financial institutions that accept Visa debit cards for purchases and cash withdrawals. However, there may be rare situations when a customer is unable to participate in the EPiC or a direct deposit program. In these cases, you may file for an exemption from these two options. Exemptions will be authorized under specific conditions as outlined below:
- Cannot access the funds due to:
- physical or mental disability;
- language barrier;
- literacy barrier; or if
- there is no financial institution within 10 miles of your home or place of employment.
*Fees for withdrawals from a non-Bank of America ATM will apply. You may make one, free cash withdrawal each week at bank and credit union teller windows that display the Visa logo. Additional withdrawals in the same week will incur a $1.50 fee per additional withdrawal. If you are using a check cashing service, please compare. You may be paying higher fees than those associated with the use of EPiC.
How to Activate EPiC
Activation of the card is simple and secure. It’s no more difficult than activating a credit card.
- You’ll receive your card along with instructions on how to activate and use it. Once you receive the card, you can activate online or by calling 1-866-213-4074 toll-free. Once activated, you may use your card.
- For security reasons you’ll need:
- the 16-digit number that appears on the face of the card
- the 3-digit card security number that appears on the back of the card
- the last four digits of your social security number (or ITIN) or Unique Agency Assigned Identification Number.
- During the activation process, you’ll be asked to create a personal identification number (PIN). The PIN can be used to make ATM withdrawals and PIN purchases
- Once the card is activated, you’ll be given the account balance and may begin using it immediately.
How to Use Your EPiC
You can use your card everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. To conduct purchases with a signature:
- Present or swipe your card.
- Choose “credit.”
- Sign, take your card and receipt.
To conduct purchases with a PIN:
- Swipe your card.
- Choose “debit” and enter your PIN.
- Many grocery stores, convenience stores, and U.S. post offices offer cash back without a fee.
- If you want cash, select the amount and it will be added to your purchase.
- Take your card, cash and receipt.
Gas stations – Paying at the pump may cause a hold of up to $75; consider paying inside, saying how much you want to purchase, and signing the receipt.
Restaurants – Restaurants may verify you have enough in your account for the bill. Make sure you have enough funds to cover any added tip.
Hotels – The hotel may hold the amount of your estimated bill, making that amount unavailable for other purchases. When you check out, the hold may take a few days to be removed.
Auto rentals – You may use your card for final payment for a rental car, but a credit card may be necessary to reserve a rental car.
Returns – Store return policies vary. You may receive a credit to your account or a store credit. A credit to your account may take a week to process before funds are available for use.
You can use EPiC to pay bills online, in-person, or over the phone. By using EPiC to pay bills online or over the phone, you can avoid costly fees charged by check cashers and others.
Know your balance
Merchants are generally not able to determine the balance on your card, so you should always verify the balance before using your prepaid debit card. Attempting to use your card for purchases that exceed your balance may result in the card being declined.
Cardholders can check the balance on their cards and review all their account transaction activity 24 hours a day online or by calling 1-866-213-4074.
- There is no fee for online and telephone balance inquiries.
- Sign up for free balance alerts (mobile text message and e-mail) by logging in to your account.
- ATM balance inquiries:
- No fee for balance inquiries made at a Bank of America in-network ATM.
- For inquiries made at ATMs other than Bank of America in-network ATMs, the owner of the ATM may charge a fee. Bank of America won’t charge a fee.
Recipients must have activated the card and created a PIN in order to make ATM withdrawals. The amount that can be withdrawn from an ATM cannot be more than $1,000 during any 24 hour period and depends on limits set by the ATM owner. Some ATM owners impose limits on how much can be withdrawn in a single transaction or in a day.
- In-network withdrawals:
There’s no fee for withdrawals from ATMs owned by Bank of America.There are hundreds of ATMs providing free access in Maryland, the neighboring states, and nationwide.
ATM locators are available for ATMs owned by Bank of America.
- Out-of-network withdrawals:
For withdrawals from ATMs that aren’t owned by Bank of America, (after one free withdrawal per deposit, there will be a $1.25 fee charged by Bank of America, plus an additional charge by the owner of the ATM.)
ATM SAFETY TIPS
- Be aware of your surroundings at ATMs. If you notice anyone or anything suspicious or unsafe when you approach an ATM, use another ATM or return later.
- At enclosed ATMs, close the door completely. Don’t open the door while you are making your transaction.
- When you use a drive-up ATM, be sure passenger windows are closed and doors are locked.
- If you must use an ATM at night, consider taking someone with you.
- Always protect your card by keeping it in a safe place. If your card is lost or stolen, contact us immediately.
- Be discrete when entering your PIN at the keypad. After completing your transaction, carefully put away your card, cash and receipt before leaving the ATM area.
- Never give your PIN to anyone and never write it anywhere, especially on your card.
- Never give information about your card or PIN over the telephone. If someone is asking for this information, refuse and immediately contact us.
- Call 911 if you need emergency assistance. Immediately contact your local police if you experience or suspect a crime related to your account
Recipients who choose to withdraw cash at a bank teller will be able to do so without paying any additional fees by visiting any bank that is in the Visa bank network. There is no fee for teller cash withdrawals.
In order to transfer funds from your card account to a traditional checking or savings account owned by you at any U.S. financial institution, you may perform an Online Funds Transfer via the Customer Service website. To begin this process, you will simply sign on to the website at www.bankofamerica.com and select the “Transfer Funds” option from the Account Summary page.
- You will need to register a “transfer-to” account prior to performing your first transfer.
- Once your “transfer to” account is authenticated (this can take up to 5 business days), your transfer will be made.
- Once your transfer is made, it can take up to 2 business days to receive your funds in your account, and the transfer cannot be canceled once entered.
A minimum value of $20.00 may be transferred.
Address changes may be done online through the Profile page once you are signed on to Bank of America’s website. You can also contact the EPiC Customer Service Center at 1-866-213-4074. Be sure to also notify the Maryland CSEA of any address changes.
Lost or Stolen Cards
If your card is lost or stolen, the Bank of America “Zero Liability” Policy protects you against fraudulent transactions (subject to certain conditions). You need only contact the Prepaid Debit Card Customer Service Center at 1-866-213-4074 to report your card lost or stolen and to request a replacement card.
- There is no fee or surcharge for replacement cards.
- If the card has been used prior to its loss, the bank will issue the replacement card in the amount of the remaining balance.
If the post office is unable to deliver a card, it will be returned to the bank. Contact the EPiC Customer Service Center at 866-213-4074 to update your address information and request a new card be mailed to you. Be sure to also notify Maryland CSEA of your new address.
CARDHOLDERS WHO DO NOT RECEIVE MONTHLY ACCOUNT STATEMENTS
All account disputes should be directed to the EPiC Customer Service Center at 1-866-213-4074. You should contact customer service as soon as you can if you think an error has occurred in your Account. (Check on details below).
Bank of America must hear from you no later than 60 days after the earliest date you electronically access your account, if the error or problem could be viewed in your electronic history; or the date we sent the FIRST written history on which the error or problem appeared.
An EPiC Customer Service representative will provide you with a dispute form to complete and return.
CARDHOLDERS WHO RECEIVE MONTHLY ACCOUNT STATEMENTS
All account disputes should be directed to the EPiC Customer Service Center at 1-866-213-4074. You should contact customer service as soon as you can if you think your statement or receipt is wrong, or if you need more information about a transaction listed on the statement or receipt.
Bank of America must hear from you no later than 60 days after we sent the FIRST statement on which the problem or error appeared.
An EPiC Customer Service representative will provide you with a dispute form to complete and return.
DISPUTED AMOUNT OF PAYMENT
For any questions regarding your Maryland child support payment amount, please contact CSEA at 1-800-723-9937.
One month prior to the expiration date listed on the front of your card, you will receive a new card with a new expiration date. Please be sure to activate your new card and destroy your expired card. Your balances and payments will be accessible on your new card after activation.
ATM – Automated Teller Machine
In-network ATM – ATMs owned and/or affiliated with Bank of America where cash withdrawals and balance inquiries are available for no fee.
ITIN – Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. A federally-assigned identification number for individuals who don’t have, and aren’t eligible for, social security numbers.
Non-network ATM – Non-Bank of America ATMs that support cash withdrawals and balance inquires, but impose Cardholder withdrawal fees and a surcharge.
Online purchase – Web sites that accept debit cards for purchases.
PIN – Personal Identification Number, which is used to authorize an ATM transaction and debit card credit purchase; and to access account information.
POS – Point of sale (a retail merchant that accepts debit cards).