What is EBT or SNAP processing?

What is EBT or SNAP processing?
By alphacardprocess February 18, 2022

EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. The EBT system was designed to provide food assistance recipients with access to their benefits through the use of an electronic system, the EBT card. Retailers, farmers markets and Food Banks are able to process EBT transactions reliably because of this system.

SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP provides nutrition assistance benefits funded by the federal government to low-income households. These benefits come in the form of a credit, which families can use at approved retailers to purchase healthy food for themselves and their families.

What is an EBT processor?

An EBT processor is a company that processes transactions from an electronic benefit transfer card. EBT processors are typically contracted by retailers, food banks and farmers markets in order to process transactions.

Do I need an EBT processor?

If you are a retailer, farmer market or food bank processing SNAP or EBT transactions, then yes! You need an EBT Processor in order to process these benefits. Without an EBT processor, you can expect to have major problems accepting SNAP and EBT benefits.

How do I find an EBT Processor?

There are a variety of options for finding an EBT processor. You can contact your state’s Human Services Department or the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), as both of these agencies are responsible for overseeing the implementation of SNAP and EBT. We recommend checking out this great resource from FNS, it shows how to find an EBT Processor in your state.

Can I use any EBT processor?

You must have a contract with an approved EBT processor in order to process transactions. If you don’t, you will be fined for every transaction that was processed.

Can I use an EBT Processor if I am not a retailer?

You can! Any business or organization that wishes to process transactions is eligible to apply for an EBT Processor contract. You do not necessarily need to be a retailer, as farmers markets, food banks and other organizations have successfully been granted EBT Processor Contracts.

Can I process transactions if I’m not a US citizen?

You may be eligible to become an EBT Processor if you are not a US Citizen, as long as your processor contract is with SNAP or the USDA. You may even allow your employees that are not US citizens to process transactions. Your employees should be authorized by your EBT Processor Contract to conduct SNAP or other USDA benefit transactions.

What if I have an EBT processor that isn’t working?

If you are having problems sending or receiving benefits through your current EBT Processor, you can report this information directly to the FNS SNAP Hotline. The FNS will troubleshoot problems with your EBT Processor, or you can have them assign another processor to work with.

What if I need to cancel my contract with an EBT processor?

It should be possible to cancel your contract with an EBT Processor. Make sure you do this within the allowed time frame, or you could face fines.