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The recently released Farm Bill mandates modernization of the Electronic Benefits Transfer system used to distributed SNAP (nee food stamps) benefits to eligible households

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Congress’ recently released Farm Bill mandates modernization of the  Electronic-Benefits Transfer system, the specialized debit-card technology by which SNAP (nee Food-Stamp) benefits are transacted by cardholders. 


With over 40 million cardholders using their EBT cards an average of10 times per months, EBT is one of the largest stand-alone electronic-payment systems in the US.
  
Congress has identified several specific targets for EBT technology modernization. These are.

1) Adding the ability for SNAP recipients to access their benefits through mobile technology

2) Online acceptance of EBT

3) A national gateway to facilitate the use of benefits beyond the state that issued them to a particular recipient.

4) Addressing access to state EBT systems.

5) Incentivizing the modernization of EBT technology.

The bill also addresses public-private partnerships for improving EBT technology. 

It is important to note that EBT leaders in the private, Federal, and state sectors have for some time already been working on implementing these improvements.

It is also worth noting that the bill mandates certain back office changes to improve SNAP integrity. These include procedures for the replacement of EBT cards, data reporting, tolerance levels for payment errors, state performance indicators.