In order to use EBT payment processing, you must have a contract with an EBT Processor who is approved by the USDA. Even then, each Processors network has specific criteria that they ask their customers to adhere to. In some cases, new customers may be required to purchase a new machine in order for it to communicate with the processor.
Having a contract with an EBT Processor is the way that you, as a merchant, are allowed to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP) using your credit card terminals. Each state has it’s own United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). There are 50 individual State SNAP programs, each with their own specific rules regarding the SNAP benefits that are allowed for use in any particular state.
The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system is an electronic system that allows for government benefit deposits to be placed on a specialized EBT Debit Card. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service ensures the proper distribution of monthly food benefits to eligible, low-income individuals and families who receive food stamps. More than 47 million Americans use the SNAP Program to ensure a more nutritious diet for themselves and their family.
The EBT payment processing system allows governments to distribute SNAP Benefits or Food Stamp benefits through an electronic system. The benefits are loaded onto a special Debit Card called an EBT card, which is similar to a bank debit card. SNAP beneficiaries can use their EBT cards to pay for groceries at most supermarkets, convenience stores and some farmers markets. Even restaurants that choose to participate in food stamp EBT payment processing may accept this form of payment from benefit recipients.
EBT benefits are distributed by the USDA on the first of each month, and are delivered directly to the cardholder’s EBT account. EBT accounts are funded automatically every month by the Federal government. The amount placed on your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Account will depend upon the size of your family; age; employment status; and state of residence.
Businesses that accept food stamps through a contract with a SNAP approved EBT Processor may require some additional paperwork in order to establish an account with their chosen EBT Processor. This can be completed by the business or, in most cases, by a representative of the Processor on your behalf. In some states, the food stamp processor requires you add employees and tax identification numbers before they will establish an EBT account.
The government agency that processes Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) transactions in your state is the organization that you will be required to contact when you are ready to begin accepting food stamps in your business location. Once an EBT Processor has determined if you are eligible for their services, they will provide you with access to the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payment system.
The USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a federal aid program that helps millions of working and unemployed families afford nutritious foods. SNAP provides monthly benefits to buy eligible food items at authorized food retailers. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income families and individuals buy the food they need for good health.
Eligibility requirements vary from state to state, but in most cases, participants must be unemployed or working part time, disabled, over age 60 or below the poverty level. To receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP), you must fill out an application and be interviewed for eligibility.