Chickasaw Nation Launches Online WIC EBT Cards
Chickasaw Nation Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program () clients can now purchase nutritional foods in one easy step.
Introduced this month, through a cooperative effort with J.P. Morgan, clients can now use an online Electronic Benefit Transfer card for purchases.
The card works just like a debit or credit card and replaces the traditional paper check or voucher. At the end of the transaction, a receipt is printed with information about remaining food benefit balance.
The card was introduced Monday, Oct. 25 at the Chickasaw Nation Ardmore Nutrition Services, in Ardmore, Okla.
The Chickasaw Nation is the first agency in Oklahoma to issue benefits utilizing a magnetic strip card.
“By working with other partner agencies, the Chickasaw Nation is able to ensure children are getting the essential nutritional foods they need; while streamlining the process for our parents and caregivers,” said Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby.
J.P. Morgan is the national leader in bringing electronic banking to low-income households through debit cards. The company provides 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.
“The project was a true collaboration of creativity, teamwork and leadership to implement the state-of-the art solution,” said Eva Robinson, J.P. Morgan executive director. “The automation from a paper instrument to an online magnetic strip card demonstrates Chickasaw Nation’s commitment to ensure that mothers and children receive the highest level of service.”
According to a 2009 report by J.P. Morgan, the system has many advantages for clients.
For mothers, eliminates the stigma of using paper checks or vouchers and allows them to redeem their benefits more securely and effectively;
For retailers, reduces the time spent in-lane on sales and in the back office managing participation;
For state agencies, enhances program management and evaluation with streamlined payment processing, automated reporting and cost efficiencies;
For clinicians, will produce real-time benefits redemption data useful in responding to participant needs and program management.
The new online card “greatly enhances the shopping experience” as well as “ensures proper nutrition,” said National Director Debra Whitford.
The new online card gives families freedom of purchasing the food they need with each trip to the store, without losing the remaining balance for the month.
“The new system saves time and reduces stress at the grocery checkout,” said Nutrition Services Director Melinda Newport.
A toll-free customer service line is also available to help the families with any questions or problems regarding their cards. Customers will be able to get help 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week if:
- Their card is lost or stolen
- The card is not working
- They forgot their or want to change it
- They need to know their food benefit balance
Chickasaw Nation clinics are located in Ada, Ardmore, Tishomingo, Sulphur, Pauls Valley, Purcell and Duncan.
The Chickasaw Nation Program is also the first State Agency Model () system to utilize the online card. The Project is a Food and Nutrition Service () five-year initiative to plan, develop and deploy model information systems in State agencies. There are three systems, including Successful Partners In Reaching Innovative Technology (SPIRIT), of which Chickasaw Nation is a member.
The online card is a new feature of the SPIRIT software system. Developed under the leadership of the Chickasaw Nation in 2007, the state-of-the-art certification system is used to determine eligibility and nutritional risk of the applicant, according to Program Manager Debi Tipton.
Software developer for the SPIRIT system is , which is also involved in making the system functional.
The SPIRIT system has a robust data collection ability and allows employees to easily modify the foods offered (within regulation) to meet the needs of participants. Also, the paperless, web-based system enables participants to easily transfer from one clinic to another.
The system is currently being used by 13 Tribal agencies in the SPIRIT consortium as well as three State Agencies in Arkansas, Missouri and Montana. The system is scheduled to be transferred to two additional states in the upcoming months.
For more information, please call (580) 436-7255 or toll free number 1-888-436-7255.
About Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program ():
The Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program () is a program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. It provides nutrition education as well as supplemental food package for the proper development of growing children from the prenatal period up to age five. A food package includes milk, cheese, fruit juice, eggs, cereal, whole grains, canned fish, peanut butter, beans/peas as well as fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
About Successful Partners In Reaching Innovative Technology (SPIRIT):
Successful Partners In Reaching Innovative Technology (SPIRIT) is one of the three State Agency Model () consortia selected to develop information systems in State agencies. It is comprised of thirteen Indian Tribal Organizations within the states of Oklahoma and New Mexico, with the Chickasaw Nation as the lead State agency. Other members are: Muscogee Creek Nation, Wichita Caddo Delaware () Enterprises, Otoe-Missouria, Inter-Tribal Council () of Oklahoma, Osage Nation and Choctaw Nation from Oklahoma; and Acoma Canoncito & Laguna Hospital (), Zuni Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, Five Sandoval Pueblos, Eight Northern Pueblos, and San Felipe Pueblo from New Mexico. For more information, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/stateinformationsystems/SAMProjectoverview.htm
About J.P. Morgan
J.P. Morgan is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.1 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Services include investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity. For more information about J.P. Morgan’s , debit and stored value card solutions, go to www.jpmorgan.com/publicsector
About Food and Nutrition Service ()
The Food and Nutrition Service () administers the food and nutrition assistance programs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. provides children and needy families with better access to food and a more healthful diet through its programs and nutrition education efforts. For more information, please visit www.fns.gov.
is a global leader in providing technology-enabled solutions and services through three primary lines of business. These include Business Solutions & Services, the Managed Services Sector and the North American Public Sector. CSC’s advanced capabilities include system design and integration, information technology and business process outsourcing, applications software development, Web and application hosting, mission support and management consulting. For more information, visit www.csc.com.