Post Top Ad

EBT the Next Generation

Having recently participated in the 19th annual EBT the Next Generation conference which dissects the use of debit-card technology for the disbursement of government-to-consumer payments, I offer the following retrospective on the conference.

We were proud to display our new Chaddsford Planning Associates exhibit-booth graphics designed by Rothacker Advertising and Design of Media, Pa. Rothacker was able to play off my EBT experience dating back to the first EBT project in Reading, Pa, comparing the many EBT projects that have followed Reading to the Big Bang Theory.  The graphics were innovative and eye-catching.

The conference theme was how technology can help help combat fraud in federally funded nutrition programs like SNAP (formerly called the food stamp program).  I was proud to lead a plenary panel discussion of the subject. My chosen panelists included representatives of the State of Florida, which uses data analytics to find anomalies in disbursement patterns, the Electronic Funds Transfer Association, a trade association the members of which develop and operate electronic-payment systems, the Food Research and Action Center, a national anti-hunger group that supports EBT for its ability to improve the disbursement of nutrition benefits like SNAP, and Xerox, a leading developer and operator of EBT systems.

We also presented our annual Pioneer Award to John Wojcik, a long-time payment industry veteran and a co-founder of the conference. John was so honored for his role selling the concept of EBT to Program Directors in all the states and territories. This included parachuting into all the state capitals with nothing more than a vision of replacing paper checks and food stamps with electronic transactions, a much less expensive and more dignified way of disbursing benefits.

By any measure, this year's EBT the Next Generation was a rousing success, with record attendance and sponsorship and forward-facing sessions on topics like mobility and EBT, and EMV, and a Technology Showcase,  highlighting how technologies like biometrics can help in the fight against fraud.