WASHINGTON, DC — February 16, 2001 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today released a new comprehensive report for retailers and state executives to monitor and review the current status of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) efforts in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Electronic Benefits Transfer 2001 — A State-by-State Report on the Current Status of EBT provides information about the status of EBT implementation in each state, including projected rollout dates, the number of households that receive food stamp benefits and the number of authorized food stamp retailers. Also detailed are each state’s history of EBT, each state’s contractor, which programs are included on the EBT card, key EBT contacts and information about the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

“This comprehensive resource will enable retailers to remain in step with the innovations in using this important payment option,” said FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds. “This publication will act as a resource in allowing retailers and other interested parties to learn about methods other states are using to implement EBT. Furthermore, this resource documents our industry’s collective experience with EBT — what has worked, what has failed and how we have overcome many of the major challenges.”

Supplemental information contained in the publication includes:

  • An “A to Z” introduction on EBT, with technical descriptions of transaction fees, adjustments, interoperability and the Quest ™ Operating Rules.

  • A complete description of the different EBT coalitions, including WIC EBT coalitions.

  • WIC and the use of smart cards versus hybrid cards, and which states are using what technology.

  • A glossary of key EBT terms.

EBT is the method that government agencies use to provide recipients electronic access to benefits, such as food stamps and cash, at point-of-sale terminals or automated teller machines (ATMs). The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandates that EBT be in effect for all states by October 1, 2002.

To purchase a copy of Electronic Benefits Transfer 2001 — A State-by-State Report on the Current Status of EBT, ($35 members/$70 non-members) contact FMI Publication and Video Sales at (202) 452-8444 or visit the FMI Web site at www.fmi.org.