This glossary provides definitions for commonly used acronyms, terms and
words in EBT and in this manual.
ACH – Automated Clearing House – ACH is the mechanism used to electronically
transfer funds to the retailer’s bank account.
Conduent – Conduent State & Local Solutions is the EBT transaction processor and is
responsible for all transaction operations, financial settlements, and tax reporting.
ARU – Automated Response Unit – A computer that accepts data from touch-tone
telephones and responds with synthesized voice commands and information.
EBT retailers obtain authorization for manual transactions and gain initial access
to the Retailer Customer Service Call Center by using the ARU system.
Authorization – The approval of transactions by the EBT contractor either
online from its host computer or by telephone authorization for manual voucher.
Authorization Number – The number returned from the host computer to
approve an EBT transaction. A manual authorization number can be given to
retailers by the ARU, or by a CSR. Also referred to as “authorization code.”
Balance Inquiry – A non-financial transaction that allows an EBT cardholder
to obtain the current balance in his/her SNAP and cash benefit accounts. An
EBT cardholder can also obtain his/her current account balances by calling the
toll-free telephone number on the back of the EBT card.
Business Day – All weekdays excluding those on which the Federal Reserve
Bank is closed.
Card Reader – Part of the POS device used to read the EBT card.
Communications – The transmission of information between a POS device
and the host computer. Currently, dial-up or dedicated telephone lines are used
for this transmission of information.
CSR – Customer Service Representative.
Customer Service Call Center – A 24 hours/seven days per week toll-free
telephone number that EBT cardholders can call to ask questions or to report
lost or stolen cards. The EBT cardholder is provided this number with his/her
training materials and it is on the back of his/her EBT card.
Debit Card – Used in many of the same transactions for purchase of goods or
services as a credit card except no credit is given.
Debit Transaction – A transaction initiated by an EBT cardholder at a POS
device with the use of a PIN to effect a payment that results in a debit against
the balance of the cardholder’s account. EBT purchases and withdrawals are
Display – The visible presentation of information on the POS device. The small
screen on the POS device that guides the retailer through transactions with
prompts and messages.
EBT – Electronic Benefit Transfer – An electronic payment system that replaced
the paper-based government entitlement programs of food stamp coupons and
checks with debit card access through a POS device.
EBT Card – A plastic debit card used to access SNAP and cash benefits at POS
devices located at FNS-authorized retail outlets and ATMs.
EBT Cardholder – An individual entitled to SNAP and/or cash benefits in a
state’s EBT Program. It also refers to any duly authorized representative or
agent for the entitled EBT cardholder.
EBT-Only Equipment – POS equipment for use with EBT SNAP and cash
benefit transactions. The equipment is prohibited from use for commercial
credit and debit card sales.
FNS – Food and Nutrition Service.
goEBT – goEBT is your EBT service provider and is responsible for account
management, equipment deployment, maintenance, and support.
Interoperability – Ability to perform or process EBT transactions using EBT
cards issued by other states.
Magnetic Stripe – The stripe on the back of the EBT card.
*PIN -*The Personal Identification Number used by the EBT cardholder to access
his/her SNAP/cash benefits at the time of sale.
PIN pad – The POS device used by the EBT cardholder to enter his/her PIN to
access SNAP/cash benefits.
POS – Point-of-Sale.
Retailer – A food retailer that has applied, been accepted and authorized by the
FNS for redemption of SNAP benefits in exchange for eligible food products.
SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the
Food Stamp Program)