By Josh Wiles, Founder and President of Novo Dia Group (NDG) comments about the adoption of electronic payments among the disadvantaged populations.

Accelerated adoption of electronic payments in grocery among the underserved: Over 45 million low-income Americans spend more than $70 billion a year to buy produce and other healthy food at grocery retailers and farmers markets using their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) mag-stripe cards. As The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) completes rollout of its e-card by October 2020, we will see electronic payments in the grocery segment hit critical mass in 2020, helped by two major developments:

1. While most national retail chains integrate electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payments such as SNAP and WIC into their point-of-sale (POS) systems, smaller grocers have had to catch up. Today, merchants eligible to accept EBT have the option to upgrade from legacy POS terminals to intuitive, user-friendly and more cost-effective mobile alternatives that provide simpler and faster checkout by accepting SNAP and WIC—along with cash, credit, and debit—on one system.

2. Recently, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) group announced a cooperative agreement with the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) to provide markets who accept SNAP with access to Mobile Market+, a secure mobile transaction processing application that accepts EBT and all other forms of payment and runs on a cellular/Wi-Fi connection without a local electrical power source.