Farmers’ Market EBT Update: January 2017

This information was shared with the Ecology Center from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

It has been brought to our attention that there are private vendors sending correspondences to farmers’ markets and farmers, requesting that the farmers’ markets contact them as part of the SHA-256 changes for VeriFone Vx terminals. Market Operators have reported that this letter can be very confusing, misleading them to believe that they are receiving this from the vendor that works with the California Department of Social Services, FIS. Private vendors are using this marketing tool to increase their share in the EBT market and to get you into a contract that will be of a cost to you.

If you wish to continue your no-cost CalFresh EBT service through the CDSS, DO NOT RESPOND. This vendor is not our California vendor, FIS. FIS is the only vendor that works with the California Department of Social Services to provide EBT terminals to farmers’ markets, completely free of charge. Many other vendors may offer free or low-cost EBT terminals, but FIS is the only vendor that works with CDSS to also cover all EBT processing fees.

If you have any doubts when receiving notifications about your POS devices, do not hesitate to call Dianne Padilla-Bates, CDSS’ Farmers’ Market Specialist, at (916) 654-1396 or Mark Nelson, FIS at (414) 577-9220.

Unfortunately we have also been experiencing some reports of theft of the POS devices. Be cautious and make sure that you secure your POS device at all times and never leave it unattended or stored in your vehicle. If your device is lost or stolen immediately report it to the Wireless Help Desk at 800-737-5834 and contact Dianne Padilla-Bates directly.