September 19, 2022
BJ's Wholesale Club members will now be able to make online payments using SNAP EBT benefits nationwide, the warehouse shopping chain announced on Friday.
The new option will be available at all BJ's locations, including the 19 in Pennsylvania and 24 in New Jersey. Customers can use SNAP EBT to pay on the company's website or its mobile app, with delivery options like free pickup, shipping and same-day delivery.
"Over the course of the past few months, we've been actively working on expanding our online SNAP EBT payment options for our members across all states we currently do business," Monica Schwartz, BJ's EVP and Digital Chief Officer, said. “We’re excited to announce that SNAP EBT payments are accepted online chainwide, allowing us to offer even more flexibility and convenience to all of our members.”
Last year, BJ's began a pilot program for SNAP EBT users in Florida and North Carolina with in-store and curbside pickup orders. The project was done in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Worldpay, a payment processing technology owned by financial solutions company Fidelity National Information Services.
The USDA launched its SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot in 2019 to test buying eligible food items online using SNAP EBT benefits. The pilot began in the New York City area and included retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite. The program is an effort to reduce food insecurity and promote healthier diets among households.
BJ's expanded its delivery services in March by offering same-day delivery at all of its stores nationwide. Members can pay a one-time fee for delivery, or set up a subscription that allows for a set amount of grocery deliveries each month. The expansion broadened the number of locations where SNAP EBT benefits could be used to get food delivery.
“We’re committed to providing our members with essential products and fresh food for their families at an incredible value,” said Schwartz. “It’s never been more important to offer our members convenient shopping options and we’re thrilled to launch online EBT payment to give our members more flexibility to shop their way.”
According to the USDA, nearly one-third of people enrolled in SNAP EBT benefits have to rely on someone else's vehicle, walking, biking, or public transportation to pick up groceries.
Online shopping increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March 2020 and February 2022, consumers spent $1.7 trillion shopping online – $609 billion more than what was spent in 2018 and 2019 combined, Forbes reported.
During that period, Groceries accounted for $6.7 billion in monthly spending. Online grocery shopping jumped to $73.7 billion in 2020, a 103% year-over-year increase.