Commonly Used Terms

APL File Header Record

The First Record in the APL File generated daily by Crossroads/WIC EBT

Approved Product List (APL)

Electronic list (file) identifying food items approved by the WIC Authority for purchase with WIC benefits by food category and subcategory and by a unique product identifier, either a Universal Product Code (UPC) or Price Lookup (PLU) code. The APL is created from UPCs/PLUs and maintained by the state agency, and made available to retailers for download to their systems.

Balance Inquiry

An action performed by a WIC participant to determine their benefit balance. Participant must have their card and associated PIN to complete the inquiry.

Batch File Processing

Processing a group of files at one time. In regards to WIC EBT, APL files are processed against the master files (master files updated) at the end of the day or another retailer defined time. Authorized Product Lists (APLs), are updated once daily, and will contain a full replacement of authorized UPCs and/or PLUs.

Cash Value Benefit (CVB)

A type of WIC EBT benefit issued to some WIC EBT participants for the purchase of fruits and vegetables. Unlike prescribed WIC EBT benefits, the WIC EBT participant may purchase any fresh fruit and vegetable product not specifically excluded and, at the option of the WIC EBT Authority, canned, dried and/or frozen fruits and vegetables meeting WIC nutritional guidelines.

Coupons, Loyalty Cards, Promotions

Discounts, coupons, and promotions may be applied to Prescription benefit purchases and CVB purchases. Additionally, WIC EBT Cardholders may use store/loyalty shopping cards when purchasing WIC Food items.

Mixed Basket

A grocery order that contains both WIC approved and Non-WIC approved foods.

Not To Exceed (NTE) Price

The Not To Exceed Price is a FNS-approved cost containment methodology whereby WIC authorized vendors are subject to price limitations. For NTE items, payments to vendors are adjusted (reduced) to ensure the price paid for individual food items may be equal to but not in excess of the maximum, not-to-exceed price. In WIC EBT systems, NTE price controls are enforced within the store POS system, the vendor corporate host system, the WIC EBT host, or the State WIC host, if different than the WIC EBT host.

NUPC National Category/SubCategory Table

A system, created by the USDA, to create a standardized way identify foods on both a Category/SubCategory basis. Food items are grouped by Food Sub-Categories within a table of predefined Food Categories; for example, the food “Peanut Butter” is coded as Food Category “06” (legumes) and Food Sub-Category “002” (Peanut Butter).

Price Lookup Code

A 4-5 digit identifier used to identify individual and bulk produce. PLU codes are assigned by the International Federation of Produce Standards (IFPS). A PLU code is commonly printed on a small sticker or “PLU label” and affixed to the individual produce items by the grower, distributor or by store personnel. PLUs are used by the APL to identify WIC EBT approved produce available for purchase by participants with available WIC CVB benefits.


One or more printed documents printed at the POS and provided a WIC EBT cardholder. The purchase receipt identifies the foods purchased with WIC tender.

Universal Product Code

A machine-readable barcode symbol used to identify and track products at any point within any supply chain. UPCs are a component of GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers), which are assigned to manufacturers by the GS1 Organization. UPCs are used by the APL to identify WIC EBT approved products available for purchase by participants with available WIC EBT benefits.