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Forage Adds In-Store EBT Processing, Creating Omnichannel Solution

grocery POS

Forage now provides retailers with an omnichannel Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) processing solution.

The payment processor has expanded into in-store EBT processing, a service that joins the online EBT processing it has offered since 2022, Forage said in a Friday (April 5) press release emailed to PYMNTS.

“Today, more than 80% of groceries are purchased in-store,” Ofek Lavian, co-founder and CEO of Forage, said in the release. “At Forage, we understand that the key to grocery success is omnichannel, enabling retailers to meet their customers wherever they choose to shop.”

Like Forage’s online processing technology, the new in-store product enables merchants to seamlessly integrate the payment processing and to design their own product experience for their customers, according to the release.

Forage also offers automated onboarding that allows retailers to quickly begin accepting EBT payments, the release said. A single integration now enables both in-store and online EBT processing.

This new product joins the company’s software and service offerings that help merchants accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT payments and guide them through U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorization, per the release.

“In-store EBT is a continuation of our work in the online space, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to enable our partners to meet SNAP recipients wherever they choose to spend their benefits — in-store or online,” Austin Koenig, head of business development at Forage, said in the release.

The logistical challenges of getting government approval to enable SNAP EBT purchases makes it difficult for many eGrocers to add SNAP EBT acceptance, Lavian told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in an interview posted in August 2022.

For that reason, Forage not only builds the financial infrastructure to make these transactions possible but also plays an “advisory role” for grocers to assist them in implementing the technology, meeting the regulatory requirements and building a successful program, Lavian said.

In another recent development in this space, Instacart said in January that it expanded its acceptance of SNAP EBT payments to reach 96% of households enrolled in the program.

DoorDash has also enabled SNAP EBT payments as grocery aggregators and others compete to unlock the spending opportunities presented by benefits programs.