EBT Modernizes Payment Options

The move gives consumers and smaller retailers additional ways to serve the SNAP market.

March 04, 2020

WASHINGTON—With more than 45 million Americans using monthly benefits to purchase food, having easier solutions for smaller retailers to accept electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payments means an expanded network for those consumers, Payments Journal reports.

Already, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues mag-stripe debit cards, and by this October, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will complete its rollout of EBT cards across the United States. However, many small business POS systems still are not able to easily integrate EBT payments, leaving them to “resort to a disparate array of complex and expensive solutions,” the Journal wrote.

“Legacy EBT terminals—that are nothing like the streamlined versions we see from Square and others today—still dominate the EBT payment acceptance scene among [small retailers]. To accept EBT, [these retailers] have had to layer separate, antiquated and expensive POS terminal[s] on top of their systems, which results in juggling multiple card readers, paying additional costs for software and hardware, and hurting check-out efficiency,” the Journal wrote.

Now, these retailers who accept EBT can swap out “legacy systems with innovative, all-in-one POS solutions that accept EBT payments and other tender types with minimal friction,” the Journal wrote. “Modern EBT POS solutions … eliminate the need for multiple POS terminals and save on valuable counter space that is better used to maximize sales. A seamless checkout experience translates to better customer and staff retention through fast and easy checkout for customers and a simplified way for staff to scan items and accept payment.”