Online EBT Payments
Transaction Size of SNAP Benefits
- According to the latest available data, 35,703,000 people participated in the SNAP benefits program in 2019. 2020 data will be published in July 2021.
- The average monthly SNAP benefits paid out per person in 2019 amounted to $129.83.
- The US federal government allocated $55.62 billion in SNAP benefits to recipients in 2019. This represents a decrease of 7.9% compared to $60.92 billion in 2018. Since the average of monthly benefits paid out per person was lower in 2018 ($124.5), the decrease can be explained by the lower number of benefits recipients in 2019.
- The total costs of the SNAP program amounted to $60.37 billion in 2019. These cots include the federal share of state administrative expenses, Nutrition Education, and Employment and Training programs. They also include other federal costs (e.g., Benefit and Retailer Redemption and Monitoring, Payment Accuracy, EBT Systems, Program Evaluation and Modernization, Program Access, Health and Nutrition Pilot Projects)
EBT Payments Transaction Size
- Although this is likely to change in the future with emerging pilot programs, currently as much as 96% of all EBT payments are related to SNAP benefits. Therefore, the total size of the market for EBT payments is $57.94 billion ($60.37 billion / 96%= $57.94 billion).
Top State EBT Contractors
Only three EBT contractors, in partnership with some smaller subcontractors, service all US states. The EBT contractors and the states that they service are listed below. Please note that multiple contractors sometimes service a single state (e.g. Xerox, as the prime contractor, subcontracts FIS to be the host processor). Therefore, a state can appear on the list multiple times.
- 1) Xerox State and Local Solutions, Inc. — Xerox is the state EBT contractor for 23 US states: California (with Local Solutions Inc.), Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (with Local Solutions Inc.), Rhode Island (prime contractor), South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.
- 2) Fidelity Information Services, LLC (FIS) — FIS is the state EBT contractor for 18 US states: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia (as FIS eFunds), Florida (as FIS eFunds), Kansas (as FIS eFunds), Minnesota, Missouri, Montana (via Northop Grumman), New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island (as a host processor only), South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont (as a host processor only), Washington, and Wisconsin.
- 3) JP Morgan EFS — JP Morgan EFS is the state EBT contractor for 12 US states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- For benefits recipients, state EBT contractors open different welfare benefits accounts (e.g. SNAP), issue EBT cards, and process payments. The types of services that EBT contractors provide for each state consist of call center services, retailer management services, central processing/data center services, and central processing/application software maintenance services.
History of Online EBT Payments
- The US federal government first began exploring the possibility of allowing online EBT payments in 2016. However, merchant adoption skyrocketed in 2020, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The economic situation brought on by the pandemic
Retailers Accepting Online EBT Payments