In April, the US Department of Agriculture revealed that it had launched a pilot program allowing some SNAP recipients to purchase groceries online. Walmart and Amazon are both participating in the two-year pilot program, and Walmart has just expanded its own test involving SNAP payments. Under that expansion, all Walmart pickup locations now accept EBT card payments for online grocery orders.
Walmart enables customers who are located near one of its more than 2,500 pickup locations to purchase groceries through the Walmart Grocery website. Customers find their nearest store using their zip code and then choose the new ‘EBT card’ payment option when checking out.
The expansion was noted by TechCrunch, which reports that Walmart plans to start accepting SNAP payments at more than 3,100 Walmart stores by the end of 2019. This appears to differ from Walmart’s involvement in the USDA pilot program, which also involves allowing SNAP recipients to use their benefits for grocery delivery orders.
Walmart has heavily focused on its online grocery business; many of the company’s retail stores now allow customers to order their groceries online and then pick them up in the store. A number of places now offer grocery delivery, as well, and the company recently introduced a $98 annual subscription to Walmart Grocery that includes deliveries.
There’s an obvious benefit to grocery pickup and deliveries. Rather than spending time walking around a Walmart store, customers can use the company’s app or website to choose the items they need from the comfort of their home or office. Store associates choose the items and assemble them, then the products are either delivered or picked up, depending on which option the customer chose.