Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT merchant services will let you collect payments from people who have EBT accounts. You can help people who qualify for EBT benefits get access to the foods they need. You won’t spend anywhere near as much in processing EBT payments, as they are government-supported transactions. Your business will also become more popular, as customers who have EBT benefits can recommend your business to others.
You can only utilize EBT merchant services if your business qualifies to serve EBT customers. Your business must apply to be a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP before you can accept EBT payments.
What Stores Are Eligible?
Only eligible stores can use EBT merchant services. You must meet one of two standards established by the United States Food and Nutrition Service:
- You must have a substantial inventory of staple foods.
You will need three stocking units of three staple foods in each of the SNAP program’s four staple food categories. These four staple food categories are:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Breads and cereals
- Meat, fish, and poultry
- Dairy products
You must also have three stocking units of one perishable staple food item in at least two of these categories.
Your business requires 36 staple food stocking units here. A stocking unit is a measure of how many items you have in your inventory. Your business needs to provide enough food here, although the specific amounts you’ll require will vary by food.
- You could also derive at least 50 percent of your gross retail sales from sales in the foods in the four staple food categories.
You can take your gross retail sales and remove non-food sales, prepared or heated food sales, and accessory food sales to see how much you are selling in staple foods.
Provide the Necessary Info
You must also include the proper info on your business to qualify for EBT sales and EBT merchant services. You’ll need these points in your application:
- Details on all the owners and partners in your business; tax numbers and other identifying features may be necessary
- The estimated sales totals for each category of items you sell
- Details on what you sell, including on how you support the staple food categories
- Banking info on where your SNAP deposits will go; these are the funds you will utilize to cover SNAP transactions at your business
- Details on the EBT merchant services team that will provide you the necessary equipment for processing EBT payments
The timeframe for when you will be approved will vary surrounding the backlog the government has for applications. It could take weeks or even months to get a response, but you can always check the application of your status online if necessary.
EBT merchant services will be there to help you collect EBT payments from eligible customers. You’ll help everyone with their needs, but you must also ensure you qualify for everything before you start accepting these payments from your business customers.