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Arkansas WIC EBT
The "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010" was created to improve child nutrition. The Act requires all states to distribute WIC benefits using EBT by October 1, 2020. Arkansas WIC is in the process of shifting from a paper-based food delivery system to an EBT system and anticipates being completely statewide by the end of 2017.
Currently, Arkansas WIC is developing a pilot program for Miller and Little River Counties that is expected to go live in 2017. The pilot project will last 3 months and will provide valuable information for the rest of the state for how to best launch WIC EBT.
The Arkansas WIC Program determined an off-line EBT platform provides quicker integration time among retailers and will provide better efficiency in transactions for cashiers and repayments for retailers. Additionally, the off-line system allows for continuous and immediate access to benefits, regardless of communication capabilities between the host server and the retailer.
Smart cards use a microchip that contain recipient benefits, allowing for a POS (Point of Sale) system to check WIC benefits being purchased against benefits on the chip. Smart cards are more discrete than paper benefits, providing better privacy to WIC recipients. Also, an entire household's benefits (up to 6 family members) are contained on a single card. Most importantly, smart cards provide recipients the ability to purchase benefits when needed, instead of all at once. This will reduce waste and ensure benefits are effectively used.
Information regarding WIC EBT can be obtained through the following downloads and links, or by contacting the WIC State Office. Vendors can click on the eWIC Vendor page for further information.
Downloads and Links