DFS implements new food stamp debit card system
by Department of Family Services
May 15, 2007
(Cheyenne) - The Wyoming Department of Family Services will start using a new statewide debit card system for food stamp benefits this month. The magnetic-striped Wyoming Card replaces the PayWest card that has been used throughout Wyoming since 1996. Food stamp participants will get the new brown and gold Wyoming Card in the mail this week.
The new card system doesn’t change how food stamp participants use their food stamps. They’ll get the same amount in benefits to buy food.
The Wyoming Card was developed by Wyoming DFS in conjunction with JPMorgan to create a more cost-effective food stamp system that is also more convenient for participants and retailers.
This card system, widely used throughout the country, gives Wyoming Card users a PIN, just like ATM cards and debit cards do. The Wyoming Card is swiped at the checkout line through the same “point of sale” card machine used for credit and shopper loyalty cards.
The Wyoming Card offers better customer service by giving food stamp participants information on account balances online or by phone.
The Wyoming Card, unlike the old card system, can be used at any grocery store, not just those with PayWest machines in Wyoming. That means shoppers in border communities can now buy food where they choose. All stores that take the Wyoming Card should have a blue and red “Quest” sign on the door.
The new Wyoming Card can’t be used for WIC (Women, Infants and Children) benefits. WIC participants will keep their PayWest cards and some will use both the PayWest card and the Wyoming Card in the grocery line.
Beginning in July, Wyoming Card benefits will be distributed on the first, second, third and fourth days of each month, depending on the first letter of the participant’s last name. To ease the transition between systems, June benefits can be used beginning May 29 regardless of last name.
For more information about the Wyoming Card, call your local DFS Field Office or visit www.ebtaccount.jpmorgan.com. A toll-free Wyoming Card customer service line also is now available by calling 1-877-290-9401.