The purpose of this regulatory alert is to bring to your attention the public comment opportunity regarding the features that will be required for Electronic Transfer Accounts.
The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Act) amends 31 U.S.C. 3332 to provide that, subject to the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to grant waivers, all Federal payments, other than payments under the Internal Revenue Code, must be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT) beginning January 2, 1999. The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published a final rule implementing this mandate, 31 CFR Part 208 (Part 208) on September 25, 1998. Part 208 provides that any individual who receives a Federal benefit, wage, salary, or retirement payment is eligible to open an Electronic Transfer Account at any Federally-insured financial institution that elects to offer an Electronic Transfer Account.
The preamble to the final rulemaking indicated that Treasury would separately publish for comment a notice of the proposed features of the Electronic Transfer Account. The attached notice describes proposed features of the Electronic Transfer Accounts and provides an opportunity for further public comment. In addition, it requests comments on whether three other features that are not part of the basic Electronic Transfer Account should be added, at the option of the financial institution.
You may access the notice, and respond electronically via the internet at http://www.fms.treas.gov/eft/eta/ (opens new window). A copy of the notice and ETA Main Page from the internet are attached to facilitate your review.
Please note that all comments should be directed to the Department of the Treasury address as identified in the notice. All comments must be received by January 7, 1999.
Once the Treasury has evaluated the comments, they will publish a notice in the Federal Register setting forth the required features for Electronic Transfer Accounts.
Norman E. D’Amours