Question: "Is there an alternative option to charge customers and accept food stamps when the system is down?" - Israel Jurado, Jurado Family Farms, Inc.
Answer: Yes there is!
Many customers have asked about recent outages we have been experiencing. From time to time there are technological issues and the EBT processing terminals we provide do go down, preventing merchants from processing SNAP transactions. We understand the frustrations and we appreciate your patience as your processor, Conduent, continues to work through this issue. If you ever do experience an outage, you can use manual vouchers to continue accepting EBT purchases. Manual vouchers can be found herewhere you can print them out for free. You can also order them in bulk to keep in your store.
After you print them out out, follow these steps.
The Cashier fills out the voucher information including:
Retailer’s seven-digit FNS number
Retail store name & address
Cardholder’s name & EBT card number
**Please note that the transaction amount cannot be altered after the authorization call.
Once you have filled the voucher out, it must be authorized by calling the Retailer Help Desk for your state, you can find your state’s number here. To accept EBT cards that are out of state, you must still call the Retailer Help Desk in your state.This is to make sure that there are enough funds on the cardholder’s EBT account for the transaction. It is very important not to dispense any goods to the cardholder until the Authorization Code is acquired.
During this call you will need to provide the following information:
Program Type: Food Stamps/SNAP
Voucher Type: Purchase/Return
There will then be a hold on the cardholder’s EBT account for the amount of the transaction until the voucher is cleared in order for the retailer to be reimbursed.
Once the transaction has been authorized, the customer service representative will issue an Authorization Code. It is very important to write this Authorization Code on the voucher, and both the retailer and cardholder need to sign the voucher.
After the Authorization Code has been noted on the voucher and the voucher has been signed by both parties, goods can then be dispensed to the cardholder. The cashier should then give the cardholder the top copy (white) of the manual voucher, and retain the bottom copy for the retailer’s records for at least 6 months.
Manual vouchers must be cleared within 15 days of the transaction in order for retailers to be reimbursed.
It's a good idea to keep manual vouchers in your store at all times in case of an emergency. They are an easy alternative to use for an outage you may be experiencing.
For any additional information concerning vouchers, please follow this link.
Click here to submit your question or topic and we'll write a blog piece just for you to share with all of our merchants!
There's more! Check out our other Merchant Topics!