Sam's Club Will Allow SNAP Payment via Scan & Go

Sam's Club's app-based, cashierless checkout offering adds EBT SNAP as a payment option
Sam's Club Scan and Go SNAP
Photograph courtesy of Sam's Club

Sam's Club announced that customers in select locations now can use their federal supplemental nutrition benefits to pay for purchases using the retailer's Scan & Go technology, which lets shoppers bypass traditional checkout lines.

The move makes Sam's Club the first major retailer to support digital electronic benefits transfer (EBT) payment for in-store transactions, the Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart sibling said.

"Each week we receive thousands of written comments from members, including what’s working well and what they would like to see in the future," Sam's Club Principal Product Manager Lars Rehder said in a news release. "One request from our members is including EBT SNAP as a payment option within Scan & Go on our mobile app."

Walmart was among the first retailers in the country to begin accepting EBT SNAP payment for online grocery orders through a pilot program with the USDA in 2019, and Sam's Club closely watched Walmart's experience in rolling out that new offering, Rehder said.

Scan & Go debuted at Sam's Club and in select Walmart stores in 2017, and Sam's Club filed a patent for its Scan & Go tech in 2019. Similar to Walmart rival Amazon's Just Walk Out technology, Scan & Go—via a high-tech combination of sensors and cameras—lets users of the retailer's mobile app fill their cart and then simply scan their phone to exit the store, with their receipt sent to them digitally. Amazon rolled out Just Walk Out to the company's first Amazon Fresh grocery store last June and to a Whole Foods location in Washington, D.C., last month, but customers at Amazon stores and elsewhere have not been able to use EBT and checkout-free technology at the same time.

In preparing to expand digital EBT SNAP payment to Scan & Go, Rehder said, Sam's Club worked with payment processors that handle SNAP transactions in each state and with the USDA's Food and Nutrition service—and now the offering is fully certified. 

"We’re laser-focused on providing the best experience for our members," Rehder stated, "and this is just another way we're making the shopping experience at Sam’s Club even more convenient and accessible." 



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