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ASC X9 Will Update Standard for Food Stamps Transaction Processing

Posted by Ambria Frazier

Participants Are Also Needed for Initiative on Quantum Techniques in Cryptographic Messaging Syntax


ANNAPOLIS, Md. – May 30, 2018 — Today the Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc. (X9) announced an initiative to update the 2013 U.S. standard for electronic benefits transfer (EBT) transaction messages used for food stamps and other programs.

The standard, X9.58 Financial transaction messages — Electronic benefits transfer (EBT) — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and cash benefit programs, provides parties involved in EBT transactions for these programs with technical specifications for exchanging financial transaction messages between an acquirer and an EBT card issuer processor. It specifies message structure, format and content, data elements and values for data elements used in the food stamp program.

Standardization of the processing of SNAP EBT transactions provides cost efficiency, ease of conversion, and data and reporting consistency for the SNAP program. Stakeholders include the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, SNAP state programs, SNAP EBT processors, SNAP third-party processors, software developers, terminal manufacturers, retail grocers and their service providers. X9’s Retail Payments subcommittee is looking for subject matter experts and stakeholders who are interested in updating this standard through joining X9.

New Technical Report: Quantum Techniques in Cryptographic Messaging Syntax

ASC X9’s X9F4 working group is launching an initiative to create a Technical Report, TR-50, on Quantum Techniques in Cryptographic Messaging Syntax (CMS). This effort is needed because current cryptographic techniques are threatened by emerging quantum-computing technologies.

The advent of quantum computing will make cybersecurity attacks more difficult to prevent and will place the financial services industry at greater risk. In the near future, many of the cryptographic algorithms and protocols that the industry now depends upon will become vulnerable, potentially leading to unauthorized exposure of sensitive information, key compromise and identity impersonation.

The new Technical Report will augment the extensible and algorithm-agnostic CMS messages in the X9.73 standard to provide the financial services industry with the ability to transition to “quantum-safe” solutions. Guidance provided by the TR will enable the industry to begin exploring migration and proof-of-concept strategies without delay, using the standardized messaging and cryptographic processing already defined in X9.73. When new algorithms and techniques have been selected and standardized by international and national development organizations, such as ISO TC68/SC2 and X9F1, this TR will serve as a guide for using new algorithms in security controls that rely on CMS.

Subject matter experts from relevant organizations such as financial institutions, product manufacturers, government agencies, university research departments and application developers are invited to join X9 and the working group. For more information about participating, those interested are invited to get in touch with ASC X9.

About the Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc.

The Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc. is a non-profit organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop both domestic and international standards for the financial services industry. X9 has over 100 member companies and over 400 company representatives that work to develop and maintain approximately 100 domestic standards and 58 international standards.

The subjects of X9’s standards include: retail and mobile payments; printing, imaging and processing of checks; corporate treasury functions; distributive ledger technology; processing of legal orders issued to financial institutions; tracking of financial transactions and instruments; tokenization of data; protection of financial data at rest and in motion; data breaches; electronic contracts; and remittance data in business payments. X9 also performs the secretariat function and provides the committee chair for ISO TC 68, which produces international standards for the global financial services industry. For more information about X9 and its work, visit


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For further information:

Judith Vanderkay

+1 (781) 883-3793

X9 Media Contact

Judith Vanderkay
+1 (781) 883-3793