Major U.S. banks and credit unions must make the first wave of stimulus payments available to eligible customers by Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., local time—the official payment date designated by the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS announced that payments would begin rolling out last Friday, prompting a slew of complaints over the weekend from bank customers who couldn’t access their stimulus payments immediately.
Banks, including Wells Fargo and Chase, were quick to clarify that the delay was not on their end: “We are providing the payments to our customers as soon as possible on the date the funds are available, based on IRS direction,” a Wells Fargo spokesman told Bloomberg.
That disconnect happened because the banks had not yet received the money from the federal government, but they had received information from the IRS about the money’s final destinations, according to Nacha, the organization that oversees interbank settlements.
The IRS issued a warning Friday that some people might see direct deposits listed as “pending” or “provisional . . . before the official payment date of March 17.”
Nacha said that there is “no mystery” about stimulus checks’ whereabouts between the time payments were announced last week (and when payment files were sent) and Wednesday morning, when banks will receive the cash from the IRS to distribute to customers.
“[The money] is still with the government,” Nacha said in a statement, and will settle on the morning of Wednesday, March 17.
“In America, Amazon can get anything in the world physically to your door in under 48 hours. It takes Uncle Sam six days to get digital money in your bank account,” Aaron Klein, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told MarketWatch.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Eligible individuals can check the status of their stimulus checks using the IRS’ Get My Payment tracking tool, which relaunched on Monday.
The fintech startup Chime was able to give its customers early access to the pending stimulus check deposits.
100 million. That’s how many stimulus payments will be sent out by the middle of next week, President Biden said during prepared remarks on Monday, along with 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines. “Shots in arms and money in pockets,” he said.
Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan authorized a third round of direct payments, this time in the amount of $1,400. Individuals earning less than $75,000 per year will receive the full $1,400 payment, as will heads of household earning less than $112,500 per year and couples filing jointly earning less than $150,000. Eligible families will also receive $1,400 payments for dependents—both children and adults—and the payments will phase out as income rises. The first phase of payments will be sent to those with direct deposit information on file with the IRS, which will use 2020 or 2019 tax information (the most recent available) to determine eligibility.