Atlantic Merchant Services
Q & A about EBT
Does my area use EBT?
Yes. Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) has been implemented in all states since June 2004 to issue food stamp and other government benefits. The system allows those recipients, who are your customers, to authorize transfer of their government funds from a Federal account to a retailer account. EBT has proven itself as a better way to track how the taxpayers’ money is being spent and reduce costs for both the retailers and the government.
How complicated is it to get approved to accept EBT cards?
It’s typically a one-sheet form, but Atlantic Merchant Services has all of the information on how you can accept EBT and will assist you in processing the paperwork. Simply call 877-947-1800 or fill out the form below for details.
Do I need special equipment or software?
Unlikely. Usually you can run EBT transactions on the same equipment you use for credit and debit transactions by simply adding a pin pad. EBT systems operate like other debit card systems. An electronic message goes to a computer for approval. If the purchase is approved, the customer’s EBT account gets an immediate debit and your account gets credited. At the end of the business day, transactions are totaled and the funds are moved. You will receive money from an EBT transaction in the same time period you get your usual merchant deposit.
What do the cards look like?
Each state has its own EBT card design and they do change at times. EBT cards are plastic and look like commercial debit and credit cards. Almost all cards have embossed numbers on the front and a magnetic strip and a signature line on the back. Often, the toll-free number for customer service is on the back of the card. Your state’s EBT system will accept SNAP EBT cards issued in any other state.
How can I learn a bit more about EBT?
Download this Guide for Retailers from the USDA with helpful information on EBT, or call Atlantic Merchant Services at 877-947-1800, or use the form below.