Florida Negotiates New EBT Card Contract
By Space Coast Daily // January 3, 2013
Will Offer Savings of $21 Million Over Three Years
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – A new Florida Department of Children and Families contract to process Electronic Benefit Transfer services for clients who receive food and cash assistance will be implemented in 2013, saving taxpayers at least $8.6 million for the next fiscal year and an estimated $21 million over the span of the next three years.
“Our agency is constantly seeking ways to become more efficient while providing quality services to people in need across Florida,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins. “This is another example of saving taxpayers money while helping our friends and neighbors who need temporary help.”
DCF signed the contract with eFunds – a subsidiary of FIS Government Services, the world’s largest provider of banking and payment technologies – after negotiations with several vendors to process these services.
The contract term begins on July 1 and includes comprehensive electronic payment services for federal food assistance, Temporary Cash Assistance and also includes adding the state’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program to the EBT card.
Negotiations also resulted in substantial resources valued at $2.4 million to be included in the contract at no extra cost. These services include call center assistance, fraud prevention, consulting, hardware and more.
EBT cards are similar to commercial debit or credit cards, including a PIN for security measures.
The new contract will not change the current card or customer contact information for EBT clients. DCF’s Economic Self-Sufficiency Program is responsible for determining eligibility for public assistance and providing ongoing case management of public benefits.
DCF previously contracted EBT services with CitiBank Electronic Financial Services, which was then bought by JP Morgan Electronic Financial Services. The current contract with JP Morgan expires on June 30.
The Food Assistance Program helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need for good health. The Temporary Cash Assistance Program provides short-term cash benefits to families with children under the age of 18, or under age 19 if full-time secondary school students, as well as pregnant women in their last trimester. Both are federally-funded programs administered by the department.
The department currently has 3.6 million food assistance recipients and 99,823 who receive cash assistance.
To apply for benefits, visit www.myflorida.com/accessflorida. For EBT information, call the EBT Customer Service at 1-888-356-3281.