Complicated regulations put financial and technological barriers in front of grocers seeking to implement online SNAP payments, hitting mid-size grocers the hardest
ThryveAI now streamlines the process and enables grocers to securely accept payment from EBT cards to offer those enrolled in the SNAP program a seamless and convenient online shopping experience
ThryveAI, a grocery-first ecommerce platform, announced today support for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments. Grocers using ThryveAI’s platform will have the option to offer a seamless and convenient shopping experience to customers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program by allowing them to securely pay for online grocery orders with their EBT cards.
According to the USDA, there are now 43 million Americans relying on SNAP benefits to feed themselves and their families. Due to the global pandemic, under the American Rescue Plan, Congress recently approved an extension of increased SNAP benefits through September 2021.
While navigating the sharp acceleration in demand for online grocery this past year, grocers are also facing financial and technological challenges in offering EBT payment options:
- Delivery Costs: The USDA doesn’t allow SNAP funds to be used for delivery fees, but it’s costly for grocers to waive or reduce these fees for SNAP customers. If they don’t waive the fees, grocers risk losing these customers to competitors.
- UX: Having a friendly user experience that is consistent for both SNAP and non-SNAP customers, including via mobile devices, can be an additional obstacle for grocers.
- Split Payment Options: Since SNAP benefits can only be used to pay for eligible items, the platform needs to allow for split payments so that shoppers can seamlessly use an alternative payment method to cover non-EBT items and delivery costs, including EBT Cash for shoppers that don’t have credit or debit cards.
To overcome these challenges, many grocers interested in setting up SNAP online payments, particularly smaller and mid-sized grocers with limited resources, are looking to partner with a technology provider that already supports this capability. ThryveAI’s modern digital commerce platform addresses these challenges by enabling a user-friendly digital experience for both SNAP and non-SNAP shoppers using the full commerce platform or mobile device and offers secure EBT payment and split-payment options.
“Grocery retailers are looking to accept SNAP payments in their digital storefronts but are being met with regulatory, financial, and technological obstacles, making it extremely challenging to implement,” said Neil Moses, CEO of Mi9 Retail/ThryveAI. “While larger retailers can more easily clear these hurdles, these challenges put smaller chains at a disadvantage, and at risk of losing customers. By offering an integrated EBT payment option we hope to alleviate some of these grocers’ burden and make it easier for them to meet the individual needs of their customers, provide equal access to online grocery shopping, and boost customer loyalty.”