EBT or Electronic Benefits Transfer refers to an electronic card system that allows people to get government benefits. Many people have this card like people who are unemployed or have low income. When they buy something from stores, their payment is processed differently than credit card processing. There are many stores available that accept EBT merchant services.
When someone makes a payment using the EBT card, it is run through an electronic reader of a POS terminal. The customer needs to enter a secrete PIN to access this account. The processor then verifies the PIN and balance before approving the payment. If the PIN or balance is wrong, the payment is declined. EBT cards have an MCC code just like credit cards. So, you need to tell your MCC code of the EBT card just the way you would do for your credit card processing. If it’s approved, the consumer’s account gets debited for that purchase amount and the retailer’s account gets the credit. No cash, food stamps, or check is involved here.
Benefits of EBT for customers
Customers now prefer using EBT cards for several reasons. Previously, they had to use checks or food stamps to claim their benefits. But now everything is done electronically, making things more convenient. The payment method is safer and more secure as no cash or check is involved. The transaction becomes faster. Customers can now use their EBT cards to purchase groceries at certain retailers.
Benefits of EBT for business
A huge segment of your customers can be those who are on government assistance. So, if you don’t have an EBT option, you may lose a lot of customers. By accepting an EBT card you can provide outstanding service to these customers. This will also improve your brand image.
To accept an EBT card, you must apply for a SNAP permit. For obtaining this permit your store must sell staple foods and 50% of your gross retail sales must come from these staple foods. Once you get the permit you must get the right hardware that will accept the EBT cards. The EBT terminal machine is a special type of POS system that accepts EBT cards and processes EBT exchanges. The processing of these cards must be kept separate from that of the other cards. After you process all the EBT card payments, you can easily transfer the funds to your bank account.
You need to pay certain fees to process EBT cards and the fees may vary from time to time. If your business doesn’t accept EBT cards then you must get the permit to allow EBT transactions immediately.