Amazon

USDA's SNAP Benefits Can Used In 25 States, DC To Buy Groceries From Amazon

Amazon customers can now use Supplemental Nutrient Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in more states, according to a statement from the eCommerce giant.

As of this week, customers with SNAP in the states of Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin can now use their cards to buy groceries from the website's services and have them delivered to the customers' doors. Partnering companies working with Amazon are included in the deal, the release says.

That list brings the total number of states where these benefits are available up to 25 along with Washington DC, with more states to come soon, the company said.

The full list of the states where the partnership is available can be found here.

The partnership came about due to an agreement between Amazon and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Amazon has also made it possible to utilize the SNAP benefits even if the user in question doesn't have an Amazon Prime account, the press release says.

The partnership is a positive for lower-income residents of the states mentioned above as it expands the options many have for grocery shopping, particularly during the pandemic when many are wary of going out into public spaces. Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry are also available for use for SNAP benefit holders.

As the pandemic quickly changed American life in March and April, companies set about making it possible for users to use EBT cards to pay online. But according to Nandan Sheth, the head of global digital commerce with Fiserv, the shift has been in motion for years now, since the 2014 Farm Bill made it possible to pay electronically with participating grocers.

Sheth told PYMNTS that Fiserv's PIN-on-Glass technology, rolled out earlier this year, had been a boost, allowing for quick access to PIN-based online authentication for a number of devices. He said that many SNAP customers might keep transitioning to electronic grocery services with the rest of the consumer population.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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