Walmart today became the first supermarket in Chattanooga to accept food stamp payments from those picking up groceries at any of the 13 local Walmarts offering grocery pickup service.
The world's biggest retailer is rolling out the payment system for families using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to pay for groceries they pickup after ordering their food items online. Walmart began a pilot test of the SNAP payment program last year and is expanding the payment system nationwide this year.
Walmart's goal is to have more than 3,100 pickup locations open by the end of the year and the SNAP payment option will make it even easier for more customers to pick up their groceries without even leaving their cars.
"We are always looking at ways to make Grocery Pickup more available and accessible to customers," said Tom Ward, senior vice president of digital operations at Walmart. "Access to convenience and to quality, fresh groceries should not be dictated by how you pay."
Over the past four years, Walmart has added pickup towers and dedicated pickup lanes for shoppers to order their groceries online (walmart.com/grocery ) or through the Walmart Grocery mobile app. The retailer has previously offered the pickup service to anyone using a credit or debit card or paying for their groceries with cash.
Accepting electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards for those receiving SNAP benefits will open up the pickup market to more than 44,500 persons receiving SNAP benefits in Hamilton County.
After ordering online, a customer using Walmart's grocery pickup service drives to the local store and parks in one of the reserved parking spaces marked in orange where he or she calls a designated number to alert an associate of their arrival. Customers can also check in through the Walmart Grocery app. An associate will quickly retrieve the prepared order and load it into the customer's car.
When the associate brings the order to the customer's car, the customer will be asked to provide their EBT benefit card for payment.