John Wojcik, a veteran of the payments industry with 33 years of experience under his belt, is the most recent recipient of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association EBT Industry Council’s annual EBT Pioneer Award. The award was presented at the EBT Next Generation 2016 conference held in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Currently acting as a business consultant to Castles Technology, a leading global provider of point-of-sale equipment, Wojcik began his career in payments over three decades ago when he was recruited by First Data. Since then he has held senior level positions at Verifone, Hypercom, and Apriva, among others. He contributed significantly to the initial development and implementation of EBT in the United States in the 1990s. With his past experience in government marketing, Wojcik lobbied state governments to accept card-based benefits payments, advised individual states’ food stamp directors and successfully won service bids for EBT contracts in all fifty states.
The key to sales, or even to life, says Wojcik, is relationships. “You need to learn to get along with people. Work hard, be humble, discover issues and provide solutions.” Early on in his career, Wojcik understood that meeting and talking to the right people is crucial. “You need to pick out the leader of the organization, someone who supports and endorses you.” As a self-learner, he finds his own way and enjoys doing “pioneer work” in uncharted territory, both then and now.
The EBT Pioneer Award is given to experienced individuals who have made significant, lasting contributions to the practice of EBT. Wojcik says the timing of this award is perfect. Eager to dive back into the EBT industry, he is optimistic about the future of mobile cashless benefits payments and how Castles Technology’s products fit into the picture.
EBT encompasses multiple benefits programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). In his current role at Castles, Wojcik sees unique and promising opportunities, including the expansion of benefits programs into farmers’ markets and college campuses. “Castles has the technology capability, and a family of products that can really open some doors.” Wojcik says. “All of Castles’ products are EMV certified in accordance with payment network mandates and compliant with industry security standards. They have superior functionality and an effective price point.” As the industry moves toward mobile cashless payments, new and better technology is needed in the marketplace and Castles is ready to deliver.