Buying your own EBT Equipment

An image of people waiting in line at the information booth at a farmers' market.
Lines at the info booth can build up at big markets. It’s imperative to have a well-functioning machine to make this system work.

If you’re looking to purchase EBT equipment for your SNAP program, without the help of a grant to subsidize the cost, then you should fall into one, or ideally all, of these categories:

  • Our market has offered SNAP for years;
  • Our vendors are dedicated to keeping this program sustained;
  • We have enough shoppers using SNAP/EBT that we can justify paying the equipment costs;
  • We have a local partner that will help us with the costs and administrative responsibilities of running the program.

MFFM has compiled information from a number of equipment and service providers to list out the options and compare them across important categories.


Click here for the chart comparing all the EBT equipment providers.

(11/2/2018 Update: Maine DHHS will reimburse markets for certain EBT equipment fees)

Comparing EBT equipment options

EBT devices are high-tech equipment that come with a significant up-front cost. There are also ongoing fees (monthly and annually) for markets.

Things to consider when purchasing EBT equipment on the open market are:

  • Equipment cost: What can you afford? Should we rent this year, rather than buy a machine outright?
  • Equipment model: Is this model known as user-friendly? What is its battery life? What do other people have to say about it?
  • Cellular/ wireless Connection: What cell service does the machine use? Does your market’s physical location work with that cell service? Is the machine wi-fi capable, and can your market use that?
  • Special offers to markets: Many service providers recognize the good work farmers’ markets undertake to make their markets accessible to all. We list out their offers in our EBT comparison chart.
  • Fees: What are the monthly, start-up, annual and one-time fees associated with each machine?
  • Seasonality/contract length: Many markets don’t need to have their machine running year-round. Many companies recognize that and offer to put a freeze on your account during the off-months.


Contact MFFM:

We encourage any market that needs to purchase EBT equipment to connect with MFFM’s SNAP Program Coordinator, Jimmy DeBiasi, first.

Email or call 487 7114. We can help you find the best fit for your market.

About Jimmy DeBiasi