Will Square ever be able to accept Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) payments?

Will Square ever be able to accept Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) payments?

Will Square ever be able to accept Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) (food stamps) payments?

1 Verified Answer
Verified Answer

Re: Will Square ever be able to accept Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) payments?

For those who might be interested, here is our set-up for EBT.


We use a third party company for running EBT, which has a card reader and a pinpad. The companies vary by state, we use FIS. 

We hold an Arizona restaurant/hot meals EBT license and can accept just about everything on EBT except energy drinks and retail items like coffee mugs or keychains.


We use the code "E" in the notes section to be able to track which sales are EBT. We still record everything in Square so that we have data for all sales in one place.


Here are the steps we provide for our cashiers.

  1. Remove non-eligible retail items from ticket for a separate transaction. Tell the customer “I will ring these up separately for you.”
  2. Remove tax from ticket.
  3. Take payment on EBT machine for total of eligible items and offer customer receipt.
  4. Choose “CHARGE” on Square.
  6. Type “E” in “Notes.”
  7. Choose “TENDER.”
105 Replies

While I don't have an exact timeline for acceptance of EBT cards, its definitely a request that we have heard before. We make all of our product updates based off of what our sellers are looking for so we appreciate hearing your feedback and requests! 


I'll be sure to pass this along to our Product Liaison team. You can also keep up with all of our product updates on our Product Update page.

Can I accept food card ( food stamps ) with Square?

Super Seller



@klipsanminimart thanks for the question - we'll make a note that accepting food stamps could be a feature you'd want. 

We get this request DAILY at our grocery store, so this is very important to us. If Square does not start doing this soon we will have to look for a different POS. Any further update on this issue?

Thank you


@vfcache, thanks for taking the time to post and let us know. I can definitely see how if you're getting the request daily, that it'd be key for your POS to be able to accept EBT.  I've shared your feedback internally at Square and will let you know here if we're able to update this feature. Thanks for your patience! 

Super Seller


I beg to differ. At least from a vendors point of view getting set up to accept ebt is a piece of cake. I purchased a stand alone card reader that we use exclusively for ebt. There is a long list of approved processing companies and hardware. I filled out an app available online at the Dep of Ag website. I had a visit from a field agent to verify we are what we said we are and that was that. We sell take and bake pizza and having the ability to accept ebt has been a boon. 


I am sure that the card company comes under an entirely different level of scrutiny. I hope that it is worthwhile to Square to jump through whatever hoops necessary. I would love to use my square for ebt instead of having to enter each ebt transaction twice and pay the service fee for a second card processor

Super Seller

Grocery Store owner here also. We've had great success with a 3rd party merchant account. We use square register as our general POS, but we run all credit cards and EBT through a seperate dedicated terminal. The reporting gets a little funny through Square, so we use a pretty basic spreadsheet to seperate what should be cash, and what should be card at the end of the day... No biggie.

The only reason we have a seperate merchant account is to run EBT, but since we have it, we use it for credit cards too. We get a slightly lower rate... We like this method because we can run customers debit cards too (they don't have to run as a credit charge).

Clover has an EBT app, so I imagine it is quite possible to do on Square one day.

Super Seller

Well, that's good news to hear.  when we tried to apply in Illinois we decided with all the applications and daily logs and other requirements they wanted that it wasn't worth the hassle.  They also were very concerned that we sold lots nonedible items and flowers and that there was lots of room for improperly EBT/LINK transactions.


Glad to hear it may be possible.  Thanks for the posts.