Friday, December 11, 2009

Electronic Funds Transfer Association Names Michigan's Women, Infants and Children EBT program "Project of the Year"

The State of Michigan’s program for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits has been recognized as the “Project of the Year” by the Electronic Funds Transfer Association and its eGovernment Payments Council.

The Michigan WIC EBT project which enables participating families to make WIC purchases through electronic benefit transfer (EBT) using the Michigan “Bridge Card," is supported by Affiliated Computer Services.  The card offers improved flexibility and security over traditional WIC paper coupons. The program is the first of its kind to provide statewide real-time online access that automatically validates WIC-approved items, reducing the chances of error at the checkout lane.

Nearly 2,000 vendors across the state are equipped to accept the card. An ACS customer care center located in Michigan provides 24/7 support in three languages (English, Spanish and Arabic) for program participants as well as vendors.

The program was named Project of the Year” by the EFTA and its eGPC for its groundbreaking status as the first statewide online WIC EBT project in the nation, said Kurt Helwig, president and CEO of the EFTA. Michigan’s WIC program director Stan Bein accepted the award at the organization’s convention in New Orleans.

“ACS is honored to be part of a program that has become a national model of how WIC benefits are distributed and administered,” said Joseph Doherty, executive vice president and group president of ACS Government Solutions. “We are eager to show other states how this solution benefits both government and program recipients.”

ACS also provides Michigan with EBT services for the state’s SNAP program (formerly known as food stamps), providing convenient access to benefits to more than 700,000 residents.

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association is the nation's leading inter-industry professional group promoting the adoption of electronic payment systems like EBT. The eGovernment Payments Council is a group within EFTA that provides thought leadership on the business and policy issues involved in the development and operation of EBT systems.

Kurt Helwig, president and CEO of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association and its eGovernment Payments Council present's Michigan's Stan Bien with the eGPC's 2009 Project of the Year award at its annual conference, EBT The Next Generation, in New Orleans.


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