eWIC has many benefits to vendors, participants and the WIC Program. Some of the advantages include: participant's WIC benefits are secure and issued more efficiently; the opportunity for fraud and diversion of WIC benefits is reduced; vendors receive their reimbursements/settlement for eWIC transactions within two business days.

In addition to direct retailer benefits, eWIC facilitates a better customer service experience for WIC participants through benefit redemption flexibility. Participants may make multiple trips to the store and can shop for just the WIC foods they need. They do not need to purchase an entire month of food benefits at one time. There will also be an opportunity for retailers to implement a "mixed basket" approach at the POS.

EBT has been around for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for just over 10 years. Unlike SNAP, the process for eWIC is much more complex because the WIC Program is based on specific, prescribed nutritional food items rather than dollars. As a result, only about 10 states have implemented eWIC so far.

At the register the eWIC card works in the same way as other magnetic card payment options. The card is swiped in the card reader and the food item is deducted from the participant's available food benefit balance. This will provide more freedom to participants by allowing them to purchase only those items needed at the time without losing any remaining benefits for the benefit period.

We will continue to update the eWIC website as we get further in the development process. Keep checking the website for updates.

Where can I find more information about UPC Submissions?

Visit our UPC Submission Page for instructions on how to request a product be added to the Maine CDC WIC Nutrition Program's Approved Product List (APL).