J.P. Morgan Report Outlines Plan for Adoption of Electronic Benefit Cards for WIC Program
New Technologies Give Federal Government Opportunity to Maximize Effectiveness of Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
NEW YORK - According to a new report by J.P. Morgan, the time has come for the federal government to support and invest in replacing paper-based Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits with more effective benefits distribution via electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. According to the report, EBT cards will improve benefit accountability, enhance program management, speed up WIC purchases in grocery checkout lanes, and over time deliver the kind of cost efficiencies that EBT made possible by replacing paper food stamps.
“EBT cards have completely replaced paper food stamps and most public assistance checks, but the WIC program has trailed others in this automation effort,” said Laurie Neill, managing director, Public Sector Solutions for J.P. Morgan. “While WIC is a highly regarded and successful program, it cannot move to a level of performance responsive to twenty-first century demands without a comprehensive strategy for national EBT.”
The report, titled “WIC EBT: The Future is Now”, details how moving from paper-based WIC benefits to EBT will improve all aspects of the program; outlines the steps that government should take to successfully convert WIC to EBT; and describes the funding, legislative and regulatory considerations involved in the process.
According to the report, replacing paper-based WIC benefits distribution with EBT cards has many advantages:
* For WIC mothers, EBT eliminates the stigma of using paper WIC checks or vouchers and allows them to redeem their benefits more securely and effectively;
* For retailers, EBT reduces the time spent in-lane on WIC sales and in the back office managing WIC participation;
* For state WIC agencies, EBT enhances program management and evaluation with streamlined payment processing, automated reporting and cost efficiencies;
* For clinicians, EBT will produce real-time benefits redemption data useful in responding to participant needs and program management.
J.P. Morgan is the national leader in bringing electronic banking to low-income households through debit cards. The company provides EBT and debit card services bringing Food Stamp Program and other benefits, pension and entitlement payments to approximately 11 million cardholders in over 30 states and territories, the United Kingdom and South America. Each month, the company is responsible for processing over 70 million transactions and handling over $2 billion in funds in the U.S., the large majority relating to government programs.
About J.P. Morgan Treasury Services
The Treasury Services business of J.P. Morgan is a top-ranked, full-service provider of innovative payment, collection, liquidity and investment management, trade finance, commercial card and information solutions to corporations, financial services institutions, middle market companies, small businesses, governments and municipalities worldwide. With more than 50,000 clients and a presence in 39 countries, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services is one of the world’s largest providers of treasury management services and a division of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., member FDIC. More information can be found at www.jpmorgan.com/ts.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan, Chase, and WaMu brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
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