Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a benefit delivery system that provides public assistance recipients with electronic access to their cash and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Eligible recipients receive a Access Card and select a personal identification number (PIN) to access authorized benefits. When paying for groceries, the recipient swipes his or her EBT Access Card through a Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal and enters the PIN to access the account. Then the pin and account balance are verified electronically, and the retailer receives an authorization or denial. The recipient’s account is then debited for the amount of the purchase, and the retailer’s account is credited. No money or food coupons change hands. The transaction and settlement processes are the same for cash transactions. Recipients are able to use their EBT Access Card to obtain cash benefits through ATMs located throughout the state. In addition, recipients are able to make cash purchases and receive cash back through POS terminals at participating retailers.