EBT or Electronic Benefit Transfer is an electronic method to disperse government benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), without paper coupons, using debit card technology and retail Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals.
All retailers who have previously been approved by the USDA to accept paper coupons in their store are automatically approved to participate in the EBT program. Other retailers, who have not been approved by the USDA to accept SNAP benefits and would like to apply, should call 877-823-4369 for an application. Visit USDA FNS (Food and Nutrition Service) for information.
A retail specialist from Xerox, the primary contractor for the EBT, will contact the retailer once a retailer has been approved to accept EBT. There are two ways a retailer can participate in the EBT program.
New retailers, with certain exemptions, must lease or purchase EBT equipment. The state-issued machine will only accept SNAP benefits that have been placed on an EBT card. A TANF client cannot use the state-issued EBT device to purchase or withdraw their TANF cash benefits. The state-issued equipment is issued to the retailer under agreement with Xerox for the sole purpose of SNAP transactions. If at any time the equipment is lost or stolen, the retailer will be responsible for repaying Xerox. The equipment may be kept as long as the retailer:
If a retailer chooses to use the state-issued equipment, the retailer will be sent a package containing the retail and equipment agreement and an ACH form authorizing Xerox to deposit money into the retailer’s bank account. A voided check from the retailer’s account must be included with the ACH form. Once this paperwork is completed, a Xerox retail specialist will deliver the POS hardware.
Retailers who choose to use a Third Party Processor (TPP) will also be contacted by Xerox who will require information concerning the TPP that the retailer has chosen. The retailer may begin using their TPP equipment to accept EBT immediately after USDA approval.
Xerox Contract Support Center at: 800-222-7757
EBT Through Third Party Processors (TPP)
A TPP is a commercial processor who processes all credit and debit cards along with EBT. A retailer who uses a TPP will be able to access all of the EBT benefits. Clients will be able to use their SNAP benefits to purchase SNAP-eligible items in a retail store that uses a TPP.
TPP processors do charge small fees to process EBT as with any other credit or debit cards.
Questions? Call Mississippi EBT Retailer Service: 866-598-1772
Have your 7-digit United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Nutrition Services (FNS) number available when contacting the service center for support.
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