Direct Express® is committed to enhancing cardholder financial capability, including the capability for cardholders to protect themselves from criminals. The program actively engages cardholders through instructive mailings and provides online educational tools through the Direct Express® Financial Education Center (DEFEC). Direct Express® also has 24/7 customer service available to answer cardholder questions by telephone, advising them on security and other issues.

Direct Express® Financial Education Center and Card Safety

The Direct Express® Financial Education Center (DEFEC) is a free service that gives cardholders the tools they need to develop their financial management skills and helps them understand the features of their Direct Express® card.

DEFEC Privacy and Security training modules promote preventive card safety measures, encourage cardholders to monitor their accounts, warn of identity theft, and how cardholders can protect themselves against it and spot signs of fraud in their accounts.

This is supplemented with dedicated modules on Elder Financial Fraud Prevention, which trains both cardholders and caregivers on preventing and reporting financial abuse.

DEFEC also provides a Social Media Scams module that helps cardholders recognize potential social media scams and their consequences, identifies  warning signs and  provides information on how to avoid and protect themselves. Following the completion of the module, Direct Express® cardholders will be better prepared to protect themselves from scams, secure their data, and be alert to who they are dealing with online.

Smartphone App, Customer Service and Theft or Fraud Reporting

An estimated 80 percent of cardholders now turn to smartphones and apps for daily information. For many of them, the free Direct Express® Mobile App (DX℠) has become an important account security tool. It allows cardholders to conduct their own real-time monitoring of account activity, allowing the early detection of anomalies that could indicate fraudulent activity. It also allows cardholders to lock or unlock their cards with ease.

Those who do not elect to use the mobile app can obtain balance information, at no cost, through either a toll-free Customer Service number, online at, or at any ATM that displays the Mastercard® acceptance mark. This capability can be enhanced by opting for Deposit and Low Balance alerts, which notify cardholders of account activity by phone, email, or text message.

Direct Express® has found that cardholders speaking to customer service representatives is an important way to obtain basic information about the features and benefits of the Direct Express® card and to learn best practices for using the card.  Customer service representatives also play an important role in cases where a Direct Express® card is reported lost or stolen. Customer service representatives assist cardholders in these cases and ensure a replacement card is provided within 7 to 10 days or even faster if the cardholder chooses an expedited service.

Cardholder Protection

As is true for all credit, debit and prepaid card users around the world, the best way for Direct Express® cardholders to prevent theft is to understand how to protect themselves by carrying and using their card safely.  Direct Express® makes every effort to drive home the importance of physical card security and the very real and all-too-common threat from “insider” theft, which happens when someone known to the cardholder uses the card without the cardholder’s authorization. It is critical that cardholders remain aware of this threat, how to protect against it, and what to do in cases where cards have been used illegally and crime has occurred.

SOURCE: Direct Express®