Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT): A service merchants should support
Unfortunately, due to a stagnant, repressed economy and a high rate of unemployment the number of people on government assistance programs has increased exponentially over the last few years. Since 2008 the number of food stamp recipients has risen from 25 to 50 million people with the average monthly benefit peaking at $140 per month as of December 2011. Additionally, in the same time frame state and federal cash benefits programs have increased 32% and now represents a $1.03 Trillion slice of the national budget.
As a business owner, its obvious the economy has had a detrimental effect on your revenues but there is a way you can actually increase your sales and take advantage of all of these government sponsored programs. EBT, also known as Electronic Benefits Transfer, enables merchants to accept government benefits from potential customers. Food Stamp and Cash Benefits programs now issue funding to participants onto cards, much like a debit or a credit cards. While Food Stamp benefits used to apply only to the staples of sustenance, there are now hundreds of products that qualify for these programs and as a result it has opened the door to many different merchant types to participate in EBT acceptance.
Furthermore, Cash Benefits, can be used to purchase most any product and can also be used by the cardholder to get cash at an ATM or cash back from a merchant. Government assistance programs are no longer applicable to certain demographics as the government has launched an extensive marketing campaign making it readily available for all through a seamless application process. For these reasons, a merchant not offering EBT services to their customers could be throwing thousands of dollars down the drain. Setting your credit card terminal or POS up for EBT cards is a simple process and can be easily added to your merchant account at no cost to you. For complete details on how you can take advantage of this program please visit our EBT Merchant Services page.