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OK Plan for TANF Restrictions


Differences Between the EBT and EBC Payment Card Systems

Oklahoma uses an EBT system for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and Child Care Subsidy benefits.  Both of these benefits are on the same card that can only be used at federally approved Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) grocery retailers and at Oklahoma licensed and approved child care centers. 

This EBT system requires merchants and child care centers to have special machines for customers to use their card and benefits. All other cash benefit programs in Oklahoma are on an EPC, the MasterCard branded debit card, or directly deposited into a client’s personal bank account.

The differences between EBT and EPC systems are:

EBT 
Only used at certain merchants
Only used at selected ATMs
Vendors are paid in arrears after accepting cards
States can view individual transactions
Clients pay fees after some free transactions
State pays fees associated with each card per case month  

EPC (debit cards)
Accepted anywhere the branded card is accepted 
Money available to client when funds sent to the payment contractor
States cannot view individual transactions because of privacy laws and banking regulations
Clients pay fees after some free transactions
No cost to the state for cards or transactions
Reduces the stigma associated with being recognized as being on public assistance
Offer consumer protection to clients for funds on the cards

Last Modified on May 11, 2021
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