February 2020 - Vendor Outreach Call Minutes


Illinois DHS WIC Central Office - Lisa Cunningham, Jeff Peddycoart, Anna Sabin, Marissa Ashbaugh, Joy Thompson

Solutran - Samantha Bailey, Chad Main

DHS Announcements

  • Implementation Schedule

    • Pilot Implementation will begin March 16, 2020.
      • Pilot area is determined as DHS Region 4.
    • Please see DHS Vendor Web Page - eWIC Implementation Schedule for specific anticipated rollout date in each county.
  • Update Contact Information Mailing

    • Every vendor has been sent a letter requesting that they provide their email address.
    • This will be the primary means of communication moving forward.
    • If you need to update your store's email address, please contact DHS by email or phone at:
  • Authorized Food List

    • The new Authorized Food List will be supplied at time of EBT rollout in each area.
      • This list will only be applied with EBT rollout.
    • Paper checks will continue to use 2019 food list.
  • Annual Trainings

    • DHS is currently scheduling classes.
    • Letters will be sent out by the end of February for all scheduled classes in March.
    • No initial classes currently taking please, so there will be fewer opportunities to make up annual trainings missed. Please attend the scheduled training or contact DHS at DHS.WICVendor@illinois.gov to reschedule class if necessary.
    • Annual trainings will include a section on eWIC and how it will function.

Solutran Announcements

  • Vendor Outreach

    • Have been focusing on reaching out to Pilot Region vendors at this time.
    • Anticipate reaching out to vendors in each region 1 - 2 months prior to rollout in that area.
    • If you have not heard from Solutran yet, reach out to POS System Provider to verify if they will be able to integrate with eWIC and if they have been in communication with Solutran.
      • Additional questions can be addressed to RetailCert@Solutran.com.
  • L3 Certifications Status

    • L3 Certifications will begin the week of February 17th in Pilot region ONLY.
    • Stores with integrated POS Systems only will be visited by a tester.
    • Solutran has reached out to vendors in the Pilot region to provide them with a window that they will be visited. Since testers will be travelling across counties, we cannot provide a specific time we will be there.
    • Anticipate L3 Testing to take approximately 10 - 15 minutes only.
  • Balance Inquiries

    • Vendors may use a Card Number and PIN to process a balance inquiry. There should be a balance of 3 oz of cereal on the card.
    • Vendors may run this balance inquiry prior to L3 certification on integrated systems to verify that the system is working.
  • Stand-Beside Terminal Vendors

    • Will not receive an in-person visit.
    • Pilot Region vendors will be shipped Stand-Beside Terminals in the coming week.
    • Once terminals have been delivered, vendor will receive a phone call to conduct training and complete the L3 testing by phone.

Q & A

  • When will L3 Certifications happen outside of Pilot Region?

    • We expect to conduct L3 Certifications in each region approximately 1 month prior to rollout in that region.
  • When will stores outside of Pilot area hear from Solutran?

    • Solutran will begin focusing on contacting vendors in each region approximately 2 months prior to rollout in that region to determine if vendor will use an integrated system or if they will need a stand-beside terminal.
  • If we do not have a POS Provider, should we be getting one for eWIC?

    • It is strongly recommended that vendors research to determine if it is feasible to work with a POS Provider. If it is deemed not feasible, these vendors will be able to contract with Solutran for a Stand-Beside Terminal for their store to continue processing eWIC.
  • Will stores be given a card to be able to train cashiers prior to L3 and rollout?

    • Vendors may use the card number provided by the WIC Vendor office to complete a balance inquiry, however plastic cards will not be sent to each vendor.
  • If we are opening another store can we apply to be a WIC Vendor?

    • Currently DHS is not accepting new WIC Applications, however if you contact the DHS office at 844-901-0962 and provide your information, DHS will notify you when applications will be accepted again.
    • DHS Anticipates accepting applications by October 2020.
  • Where can I find the implementation schedule and when eWIC will be rolling out in my area?

  • Will L3 testing be done at all locations?

    • L3 Testing will be done at 100% of integrated stores in Pilot area.
    • L3 Testing will be done at a smaller sampling of integrated stores in next regions approximately 1-month prior to rollout.
  • When do we stop accepting WIC Checks?

    • Vendors must continue to accept WIC checks that are presented at the store as long as they are valid.
    • DHS anticipates some WIC Checks will be in circulation through the end of 2020.
    • DHS anticipates that as rollout happens in each region, stores will begin to see fewer and fewer checks and more eWIC Cards.