SNAP Online Purchasing Program Retailer Onboarding Process

Below is a detailed breakdown of the SNAP Online Onboarding Process. Following these steps will allow retailers to know what actions they are responsible for and what actions and communication they can expect from FNS throughout the process.

Initiation Phase

  1. A retailer initiates the SNAP Online onboarding process by preparing a Letter of Intent (LOI) and submitting the LOI to FNS. For more information about LOIs, visit our LOI page.
  2. FNS reviews the LOI, and either approves the retailer to move to the next step in the process or contacts the retailer for more information or clarification.
  3. If the LOI is approved, FNS sends a notification letter to the retailer requesting that they complete a package of authorization materials.
  4. The retailer completes the authorization materials and submits them to FNS.
  5. FNS processes the authorization materials and sends a Welcome Package by email to the retailer.
  6. If the retailer is working with an eCommerce provider that is not already offering SNAP Online Purchasing with other retailers, or the retailer is building an independent eCommerce site, the retailer is required to submit a Business Requirements Document (BRD) to FNS for review and approval (for more information about preparing a BRD, visit our BRD page.).  Once the BRD is approved, the retailer will be required to provide a short online demonstration of their eCommerce solution to FNS. If the eCommerce provider is already being used by other retailers for SNAP Online, the retailer will move into the testing phase. Here is the list of eCommerce providers who have gone through the FNS SNAP Online approval process with other retailers.
  7. The retailer enters the testing phase for their eCommerce website.

Testing Phase

  1. FNS schedules and leads a testing kick-off call with the retailer to review the testing process and requirements for successful completion of testing. FNS will provide a list of test scenarios and instructions about obtaining EBT cards for testing, which will be funded by the retailer.
  2. The retailer performs the test transactions on their eCommerce platform. Testing is performed by the retailer independently first, and tests until all scenarios have been completed successfully. The retailer must keep track of and log any issues encountered to be reported to FNS. Need help with your pre-testing? Please complete our form here for assistance from one of SEMTAC’s SNAP Online subject matter experts.
  3. The retailer hands over testing to FNS by providing a copy of the test scripts with all scenarios reflecting that they passed (i.e., were tested successfully) and a copy of their issue log.
  4. FNS performs performs its pass of the test scenarios on the retailer’s eCommerce system and validates the correct processing of SNAP Online transactions. This is the certification test.
  5. If issues are encountered by FNS during their test pass, the retailer will be requested to resolve the issues, retest them successfully, and notify FNS so that FNS may also retest.
  6. Once all issues have been resolved, the retailer, FNS, and other stakeholders will work together to determine the launch date for the website’s SNAP Online functionality.
  7. The retailer launches their SNAP Online functionality.