USDA selects five states to test mobile contactless payments in SNAP – Produce Blue Book

Washington – The USDA Food and Nutrition Service is working with five states to test mobile payment technology under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

Over the next few years, SNAP participants in Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri and Oklahoma will have the ability to use mobile payment methods — like tapping or scanning their personal mobile device — as an alternative to their physical SNAP card.

SNAP serves millions of low-income families and children every month. Mobile checkout — widely seen as a safe and convenient way to shop for groceries — is one way we can make it easier for busy families to put healthy food on the table. The technology also has the potential to protect families from having their SNAP benefits stolen due to card skimming and other fraud.

“Today’s announcement represents another step forward for the future of SNAP and the many ways our programs embrace modern and innovative ideas to improve food security,” said Stacy Dean, USDA Assistant Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “Digital wallets are changing the way we pay for everything, including groceries. We want to ensure SNAP uses the latest technology to improve access to services, reduce fraud, and provide a better overall experience for the families we serve.”

The Mobile Payment Pilots are complex projects involving a variety of stakeholders who carefully coordinate their efforts. FNS will work with government agencies, as well as EBT processors, mobile wallet providers, retailers and others to support a successful rollout in the pilot states. Neither retailers nor SNAP households are required to participate in the pilots — stores can choose to adopt the new technology and make contactless payments available to their SNAP customers, and shoppers can continue to use their EBT card if they choose to pay that way.

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The five selected states had the following to share:

“We appreciate the USDA Food and Nutrition Service for expanding this opportunity to Missouri as part of their initial rollout,” said Robert J. Knodell, acting director of the Missouri Department of Social Services. “We look forward to working together to offer Missourians the flexibility and security of a mobile payment option while leveraging their SNAP advantages.” to advance the communities we serve,” said Tim Verry, director of family and community services, Illinois Department of Human Services. “Mobile payment technology not only provides a more modern way for SNAP participants to pay at checkout, but also builds on Illinois’ efforts to prevent fraud by using more secure payment technology.” selected to participate in the SNAP Mobile Payment Pilot,” said Terri Ricks, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services. “Over the past several years, we have focused on using technology to simplify SNAP uses and purchases for the families we serve, including through SMS reminders, a mobile benefit management app, online SNAP purchases and even a virtual D-SNAP process after disasters. The goal of the mobile payment pilot is to build on these efforts by making purchases more convenient and reducing the time it takes to receive benefits.” “Our government strives for justice in everything we do to put in the center. Enabling households to buy groceries with SNAP benefits through their mobile device not only creates a more dignified and secure checkout experience, but also gives low-income families access to the same shopping technologies as other consumers,” said Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey. “Selecting Massachusetts as one of the pilot states for mobile payments underscores how we have been at the forefront of technological innovation, and I look forward to working with our federal partners to continue delivering results for our residents.” To be a pilot state striving to create a faster, more efficient and safer way to deliver SNAP benefits to our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Tom Pennington, Treasurer for Oklahoma Human Services. “Not only do these efforts reduce the risk of fraud by protecting customer accounts with multi-factor authentication, they also reduce the stigma associated with SNAP benefits and promote the dignity of our customers as they attempt to put food on the table for their families . We are proud to provide the resources and people needed for this pilot to continually modernize our programs and find ways to better serve our customers.”

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The mobile payment pilots are one of many actions FNS is taking to modernize SNAP and make it easier for families to buy the groceries they need to stay healthy. Other SNAP modernization efforts include expanding SNAP online shopping, partnering with the National Grocers Association Foundation to help small and/or rural retailers get started with SNAP online shopping, and exploring EBT card technology and -Safety measures.

FNS also invests in extensive modernization and innovation efforts across all of our programs that support food security for children and families, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC.

For example, FNS recently announced proposed changes that, when finalized, would allow online ordering in WIC. These modernizations are designed to help connect more eligible mothers and infants to the proven benefits of WIC and enhance the service they receive throughout their experience with the program, which is an integral part of the agency’s urgent and ongoing work on improving Creating a healthier future for America’s children is through equitable access to food.

FNS’ efforts to modernize federal nutrition programs support the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to designing and delivering services that focus on the actual experience of the people it serves. The Government believes that the Government must deliver services more equitably and effectively, particularly to those who have been historically underserved.

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a variety of more than 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve one in four Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable foods essential for optimal health and well-being. FNS also provides science-based nutritional advice through co-development of Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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FNS’ report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” outlines how the agency will support the Biden-Harris administration’s national strategy, which is linked was released with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit and follow @USDANutrition.

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