Tallahasse, Fla. 9-13-13
Florida's EBT card system is about to change. A new company will take over on Monday.
Donald Sumpter owns Your Neighborhood Market grocery store in Tallahassee. Many shoppers here at the store are on the SNAP or food stamp program for the state of Florida.
A new company, FIS/eFunds will now operate the system. Starting at midnight on Monday, people in the SNAP program won't be able to use their EBT cards at their stores until sometime in the afternoon after their transition is completed.
"A lot of [the customers] are confused and believe that it's gonna last the rest of the month," said Sumpter.
That's why many stores across Florida are posting signs warning them of the statewide outage.
"We're asking them this weekend to go ahead and make those food and grocery purchases in preparation of the one day delay on September 16th," said Department of Families and Children spokesman Whitney Ray.
Ray says new system will save the state $21 million in the next three years. Additional staff will be added to track E-B-T cards hoping to cut back on fraud.
"[it will track] real-time monitoring of transactions as they happen in hopes that you stop the fraud before it gets out the door."
Sumpter says most of his customers know about the upcoming change but he'll be ready if people still show up on Monday.
"We're going to ride it out that day and not worry about it."
The EBT cards are used by millions of Floridians including more than 43,000 people in Leon County alone.