Become an EBT Retailer
Becoming an electric benefits transfer (EBT) retailer can boost your business and open up a whole new segment of customers. When you apply to accept EBT, you also stand out from competitors who may not offer the same benefits. However, many companies aren’t sure how to start accepting SNAP benefits or become an EBT retailer. Read this EBT retailer manual to learn everything you need to know about EBT and SNAP to start benefiting.
SNAP Benefits and EBT
When individuals previously used SNAP benefits, they used paper coupons every time they shopped. Now, most states use a plastic EBT card that works like a debit card. An EBT card usually includes SNAP benefits, as well as cash benefits such as unemployment and housing assistance. Every time someone uses an EBT card for food, the amount they spend is automatically subtracted from their EBT account and added to your bank account. You should see the money deposited into your account within two business days. This benefits your store and also provides a more discreet payment option for those using SNAP benefits.
The Difference Between EBT and SNAP
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal nutrition program that helps eligible individuals stretch their food budgets and purchase healthy food. The program used to be called food stamps. SNAP benefits are used to buy food at grocery stores, convenience stores and some farmers’ markets and co-op programs. Since SNAP is a federal entitlement program overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), anyone deemed eligible can receive benefits. It is not a cash assistance program, and individuals don’t take away benefits from others who apply. EBT is the format in which the government gives out SNAP benefits. Every month, individuals eligible for SNAP get a plastic card called an EBT that looks like a debit card. SNAP benefits come already loaded on the card, so people can simply visit an EBT retailer and use the card to purchase food through the SNAP program.
What Are the Benefits of EBT and SNAP?
There are benefits of EBT and SNAP for both consumers and businesses. Consumers using SNAP benefits won’t go hungry every month, and they can supplement their monthly food budgets with the benefits. They can also purchase higher quality, healthy food that may have been too expensive to afford before receiving benefits.
Your business also benefits as an EBT retailer. Accepting EBT can increase your customer base, allowing you to reach a wider range of consumers. You’ll also improve your cash flow and reduce the amount of wait time in checkout lines. As word spreads that you accept SNAP benefits through an EBT card, you’ll notice profits rise.
All You Need to Know About Becoming an EBT Retailer
If you have questions about how to become an EBT retailer, check out our Q&A section below and contact us online today to talk to a small business EBT specialist for more information.
Need help applying?
Call us at 888-902-6202 or fill out the form below.
Frequently asked questions
To accept SNAP food stamps in your store, you must get a SNAP permit. To get a permit, you must file an application with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The FNS is the government agency in charge of SNAP food stamps. The SNAP permit is free. You must have a permit for each store you own, and the permit must be in your name. You cannot take over someone else’s SNAP permit. You must sell certain types of food in your store to get a permit:
- You can get a permit if you sell a variety of staple foods in each of four food categories: (1) dairy products (2) breads, grains, and cereals (3) fruits and vegetables and (4) meat, fish, and poultry. Foods can be fresh, frozen, or canned. However, you must stock perishable foods in at least two of the food categories.
- or, you can get a permit if more than 50% of your gross retail sales comes from the sale of one or more staple foods.
- For more Information on store eligibility please call us at 888-902-6202.
Note: Staple foods do not include coffee, tea, candy, soft drinks, snack foods, or certain other ready-to-eat items.