San Antonio-based grocery company H-E-B has recently announced that all of its stores will now accept SNAP EBT (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefit Transfer) payments directly via its mobile app or website, heb.com, for all curbside and home delivery orders.
To do so, customers need to already have or sign up for a SNAP EBT account. Customers input their SNAP EBT information into their H-E-B account on their website, heb.com, or through the My H-E-B app. After the registration is done, customers can place their orders.
During checkout, they can choose the SNAP EBT option where they simply need to enter their PIN. Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, is an electronic system designed to enable a SNAP participant to pay for their food order using the benefits offered by SNAP.
However, for items or payments not eligible on SNAP EBT, one would need a debit or credit card. The company offers options for making payments using gift cards as well. One can view their SNAP EBT card balance by logging into the My H-E-B app or at heb.com. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices and is easily accessible from mobile phones or tablets.
To ensure you are buying SNAP-eligible items, you can use the filter function while doing a product search. Moreover, one can also check which items are SNAP-eligible on their online shopping cart, which gives a clear indication of the same. The contactless payment option is available at all the curbside and delivery store locations of H-E-B.
This announcement made by the grocery giant on Friday, 18 December 2020, in a news release, has made it easier for consumers to make contactless digital payments for their food or grocery orders, both for curbside or home delivery.
Currently, the grocery chain has over 230 stores having curbside services. Further, the company is planning to expand across over 20 more locations in the state by the end of 2021. The company also added that most of those locations providing curbside services will be offering home delivery facilities as well.
As per the statements of the vice president of H-E-B digital commerce operations, Esther Castelo, this is one of the most essential initiatives that their team has come up with. He further said that the team members are excited to offer their customers this convenience.
According to Texas Health and Human Services, the total number of benefit cases associated with SNAP food purchases was higher than 131,000 in the previous month of November. The best thing about H-E-B is that they provide either same-day or next-day curbside pickup services, in which the stores load the customers’ vehicles with their groceries. This service carries a $4.95 personal shopper charge.
Further, all curbside orders are made free for those who have placed their orders more than 2 days out. And the company will charge a delivery fee of $5 for all home delivery orders. You can place your home delivery or curbside orders seven days in advance.
This new feature is considered a part of the company’s expansion of the SNAP EBT facility, which H-E-B implemented as a pilot to some of its locations in May.
Under the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot, which was launched by FNS (Food and Nutrition Service) of the US Department of Agriculture, 46 states as well as the District of Columbia are now allowing SNAP beneficiaries to purchase and pay for food and groceries digitally. The retailers participating in this program include Amazon, Walmart, ShopRite, and Aldi, among many others.
SNAP food benefits are included onto a Lone Star Card, and is designed to help people having budget constraints. These cards let people meet certain program rules, such as work rules and income limits.
Previously, H-E-B has said that it will carry the COVID-19 vaccine after it is made available at its pharmaceutical chains, and will distribute it to the public.
In fact, the grocery brand began to foresee the aftermaths of the coronavirus pandemic on their industry. Many of its stores started to see much reduced traffic since the lockdown restrictions were declared worldwide. The issue was more prominently seen by mid-April when the company was experiencing initial supply issues.
It also gave rise to the number of digital app use cases among the audience willing to purchase food and groceries, which are the daily essentials. According to research, food was seen as the number one pick to make expenses after federal stimulus funds were distributed to Americans during the early days of the pandemic outbreak.
Meal kit businesses emerged victorious from the crisis, especially when restaurants were closing their doors. Following this trend, the supermarkets too attempted to sell pre-made meals to their consumers.
H-E-B is an American supermarket chain based in the City of San Antonio, Texas. Today, it has more than 340 stores in 150+ communities spread across the state and in northeast Mexico.
As per the 2014 revenue reports, H-E-B was ranked the 20th largest retailer in the US. The grocer donates 5% of its annual pre-tax earnings to charity in and around its store locations. The common institutions the company distributes the money to include educational institutions and food banks.
H-E-B was founded on 26 November 1905 by Florence Butt, who first opened the C.C. Butt Grocery Store at her Kerrville family home. She opened the store with her savings of $60 by realizing her need to support her poor family. The current CEO of the brand is Charles Butt, who inherited his family business in 1971.
The H-E-B Plus team aims to cater to the unique needs of the different lifestyles followed by the people of Texas. The company is known for selling and delivering a range of services, including fruits and vegetables, bakery products, meat and seafood items, dairy products, pantry items, deli and prepared foods, frozen foods, beverages, health and beauty products, everyday essentials, baby foods and healthcare products, home and outdoor decor items, pet supplies, etc.
The company also has provisions for allowing its visitors to make charity donations of their choice with a minimum of one dollar.