Merchants and Accepting EBT

If your store is not currently approved to accept SNAP, review the general requirements to find out if your store might be eligible.  Training materials, which explain Program rules and requirements, are available for you to review as well. Familiarize yourself with how SNAP benefits can be used, then apply online to accept SNAP.If you have any questions, please contact the SNAP Retailer Service Center at (877) 823-4369.

Restaurants interested in accepting CalFresh/SNAP benefits should visit Restaurants and EBT and California Restaurant Meals Program for information.

The following explains the process to add the ability to accept EBT cash payments to the equipment you use to accept debit and credit transactions:

  • Contact your debit transaction processor (third-party processor) and ask to have the California EBT IIN (Issuer Identification Number: 507719) added to the debit card transaction set of your point-of-sale (POS) equipment. Sometimes, a processor will tell a retailer that a special number from the federal or state government is required. The number to which the processor is referring is the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) number, which is only needed by those retailers processing EBT food benefit transactions (SNAP/CalFresh). To process only EBT cash transactions, this FNS number is not required. Tell your processor to fill the FNS number field in your transaction set with seven zeros.
  • Your POS equipment must have a personal identification number (PIN) pad, because EBT cardholders need to be able to enter their PINs.
  • You must make sure you and your processor are compliant with the Quest® Operating Rules.


IMPORTANT: Redemption of EBT cash benefits is not permitted at the following businesses:

-     Liquor stores that do not accept SNAP/CalFresh benefits
-     Casinos
-     Poker rooms
-     Card rooms
-     Adult entertainment businesses
-     Bail bonds
-     Night clubs/saloons/taverns
-     Bingo halls
-     Race tracks
-     Gun/ammunition stores
-     Cruise ships
-     Psychic readers
-     Smoking shops
-     Cannabis shops
-     Tattoo/piercing shops
-     Spa/massage salons

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