The Food and Nutrition Service is pleased to announce release of guidelines for use in development and implementation of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) systems in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The guidelines establish a framework for consistent procedures and implementations by State agencies and their participating retail vendors. The guidelines, which include an Operating Rules document and a Technical Implementation Guide document, have been developed at the request and input of WIC State agencies, food retail vendors, EBT processors, third party processors, payment terminal device manufacturers and cash register software manufacturers.
The purpose of the guidelines is to enable the incorporation of
WIC EBT business practices into automated cash register systems
supporting food retail vendors where ever these systems are used within
the United States. Adding WIC EBT capability to electronic cash
registers is beneficial to the WIC Program by enabling WIC participants
to purchase WIC allowed foods using the same process all other grocery
store customers are using. Updated electronic cash register systems also
eliminate the need for State agencies to separately install EBT
equipment that is costly and prone to error.
A major goal of the guidelines is to ensure consistent technical
implementations of the ANSI X9.93 standards applicable to WIC EBT
messaging and file handling processes utilized by smart card and online
WIC EBT systems. The draft guidelines are for use by all WIC State
agencies. The Department will be providing further information regarding
these guidelines in the future.
For further information, please direct your questions to the following email address: WICEBTTECH@fns.usda.gov. State agencies that want further information should contact their FNS regional office WIC EBT coordinator.
Last modified 03/11/13
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