Point Of Sale (POS) Device

The next step is to determine what type of EBT Point of Sale (POS) device you will use to process EBT transactions. For eligible outlets, we recommend using the device provided by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) because it is free and the state of California will pay all of the associated fees! See the sections below to determine your eligibility for the free POS device and view alternative options.

We’ve received reports that private EBT vendors are aggressively reaching out to farmers’ markets to try to gain their business. Read more about it here.

Free EBT Point of Sale Device Provided by CDSS

Eligible outlets for the Free EBT point of sale device paid for by CDSS:
Certified Farmers’ Markets
Direct marketing farmers (you do not have to be a Certified Producer)
CSAs and farm stands run by 501(c)3 Nonprofits
Non-eligible outlets:
Non-certified Farmers’ Markets
Mobile Farmers’ Markets

As soon as you submit your FNS application and receive your temporary FNS number, contact Jamecia Davis at Jamecia.Davis@dss.ca.gov at CDSS, so she can get your market/outlet into their system. You need not wait until you receive the SNAP permit/authorization is completely finalized before you start up contact with Jamecia.

Jamecia Davis
California Department of Social Services
(916) 420-5822

Jamecia Davis (CDSS) will send you a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility for a wireless device. Be sure to inform the Ecology Center and Jamecia of all market locations, days, and times where you intend to accept EBT, as both agencies maintain a list of all EBT accessible California farmers‘ market locations as well as those that offer incentives.

Once your FNS application is approved (authorization can take up to 45 days), FNS will send an email both to you and to CDSS. Jamecia (CDSS) will connect you to a representative from FIS Global who you will have to sign a contract with for a wireless EBT point of sale device (POS) to be ordered for your market/outlet.

Note: The State of California covers all fees related to the POS. You do not incur any costs when using a CDSS-issued POS. The CDSS-provided POS device can NOT accept credit and debit cards.

Alternate Technology

The POS device provided by the state will process EBT transactions only, without fees. It does not have the option to accept debit or credit cards. If you are not eligible for the CDSS device, or you would like a system to process all types of cards, you will want to research alternative options.

There are a number of other point of sale options, some of which can be used with an iPhone or iPad. These alternatives may not be cost free, meaning that you may have to pay for the equipment, and a per-transaction fee for debit, credit and CalFresh EBT transactions.

This document from the USDA has useful information about choosing an alternate provider. Their list is not extensive, but may help you get started with finding the right provider for you.

Some providers that our partners use include:
FIS Global
Total Merchant Services


Jamecia Davis
California Department of Social Services
(916) 420-5822

FIS (EBT processor) Customer Service Hotline for Farmers’ Markets
Contact if your EBT point of sale terminal is not working or you have any customer service needs after getting authorized for your EBT terminal and have signed a contract with FIS. You can also request offline vouchers that you can use if your terminal is not connecting to cellular service. More information about how to request and use an offline voucher here.

Ecology Center staff who can support you at this stage:
Putri Kusdarman, ebt@ecologycenter.org

Farmers’ Market Coalition
888-362-8177, Ext 2 – EBT Equipment Program
If you are not located in California and would like assistance finding out if your state covers the cost of EBT point of sale devices for farmers’ markets/small farmers.