Two years ago, Workforce Services began working on a Request
for Proposal (RFP) seeking a new contract for Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)
services due to the expiration of its contract with JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan
Chase had announced that it would no longer provide EBT services, forcing Utah
down a fast track conversion.
Conversion often takes two years once a contract
is signed, but the loss of the contracted vendor required Utah to convert in
less than one. A new contract was signed in December 2015, with Xerox,
conversion planning beginning in January 2016.
Over the past 10 months a select team from Workforce
Services and the Department of Technology Services (DTS) have worked together
to ensure a smooth transition. A few weeks prior to conversion, Workforce
Services, DTS and Xerox tested the system and it was clear that the team had
been successful despite the short time frame allowed.
Conversion activities began on Friday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. and
were completed on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 5:46 a.m. with the first EBT transaction
being completed nearly two and a half hours ahead of schedule. More than 225,000
individuals receive benefits issued onto the state EBT card, all continued to
receive these important benefits without incident or interruption.
Our goal is
to implement large changes, like this EBT conversion, with as little impact as
possible to our customers. Thanks to the knowledge and dedication of the entire
EBT conversion team — which included Workforce Services, DTS, Xerox and JPMorgan
Chase — we were able to accomplish our goal with incredible success.