Wednesday , October 5, 2022

Forage Joins a Small Group of SNAP EBT Online Payment Processors

Organizations hoping for another choice when selecting a vendor to process their online electronic benefits transfer transactions for consumers using SNAP can now opt for Forage.

San Francisco-based Forage said the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved it as a third-party payment processor for the SNAP program, the shortened term for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps individuals pay for groceries. Forage joins Fiserv Inc. and FIS Inc.’s Worldpay as one of three providers. Just last week, Forage announced it raised $22 million in funding.

Online EBT SNAP enables eligible consumers to pay for online grocery users using SNAP cards. Forage’s technology enables them to securely enter the PIN associated with their cards online. Forage says its first retailer to accept online EBT SNAP payment is Gong’s Market, a Sanger, Calif.-based grocer.

Forage is one of just three third-party payment processors to process online EBT SNAP transactions.

Forage says it began working with the USDA in 2021. The USDA began testing of online EBT SNAP in 2016 and it went live in 2019. During the pandemic, the program moved from the initial test group of eight retailers to allowing any SNAP-authorized retailer to apply, Forage says.

“Forage has been working towards USDA certification for months, and we’re thrilled to be one of only three companies to date that have met this high bar,” Ofek Lavian, Forage chief executive, says in a statement. “Our focus now is on ensuring the success of our merchant partners as they go live with online EBT acceptance in the coming weeks.”

Retailers must select and pay for PIN-encryption services as part of the online participation, the USDA says. By offering online EBT SNAP acceptance, grocers offer another way for these consumers, especially ones who may have mobility issues, to shop online.

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