Sunday, July 2, 2017
COULD SNAP PURCHASES SOON COME BY DRONE?
Amazon may be moving into the high-end food world with its purchase of Whole Foods, but the online commerce giant may also be going after a share of the roughly $70 billion SNAP market. While SNAP recipients can't currently use their benefits to buy groceries online, it appears increasingly likely that they'll be able to in the not-too-distant future. USDA is preparing to roll out 10 pilots that will allow some SNAP customers to use their EBT cards with online retailers. In January, Amazon was selected as one of the companies to conduct one of the pilots across three states - New York, New Jersey and Maryland - but the company is now going beyond that point. It recently rolled out a special 45% discount on Amazon Prime membership for anyone in the U.S. who has an EBT card, reducing Prime membership from $10.99 to $5.99 per month. Retailers are watching closely because they see the move as a shrewd way for Amazon to build business with SNAP-eligible customers to capitalize if - or, rather, when - EBT becomes redeemable online.