Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find the answer here, feel free to contact us.

1.
Who is eligible for the grant-funded POS equipment?

Businesses who meet the USDA’s definition of a Direct Marketing Farmer or Farmers’ Market.

2.
What is a Farmers’ Market?

The USDA defines farmers’ markets as "multi-stall markets at which farmer-producers sell food products they produced (fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, grains, etc.) directly to the general public, at a central or fixed location." This means a traditional market where multiple vendors set up stalls at a fixed location on a regular schedule. The majority of the cumulative sales revenue at the farmers’ market must be Staple Foods to qualify as a SNAP Retailer.

    3.
    What is a Direct Marketing Farmer?

    The USDA defines Direct Marketing Farmers as “individual producers of agricultural products that sell directly to the public.” This means farmers who grow or raise their own products and the majority of their sales are made directly to the public by means of farmers’ markets, farm stands, U-Pick It, and/or a CSA program.

    The majority of your sales also must be picked up by the customer - not delivered - or you will be considered a delivery route (which is a separate category of FNS authorization).

    4.
    Are Food Hubs/Coops eligible for the grant-funded equipment?

    Unfortunately, no. Only Direct Marketing Farmers and Farmers’ Markets are eligible for the grant-funded equipment. However, free wired equipment for 501(c)3 Food Buying Cooperatives may be available through each State’s EBT program. Click here for contact information for your State’s EBT program.

      5.
      Are mobile markets/delivery services eligible for the grant-funded equipment?

      It depends. If a grower owns/operates the business and is selling their product along with other locally grown products, you may be eligible. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Please apply and we will assess your eligibility.

        6.
        How is MarketLink different from the USDA program offered through states?

        MarketLink is different because USDA awarded a contract to the NAFMNP based on the best value for the agency as well as for direct-marketing farmers and farmers markets to provide a complete solution - a farmer or market may process SNAP, credit, and debit through our equipment. State funding is intended for SNAP only.

        Equipment options through the MarketLink program are available to any farmers market and direct marketing farmer across the country, whether they are eligible for free equipment or not.

        7.
        Are Community Gardens eligible for the grant-funded equipment?

        Yes, Community Gardens are eligible and can apply as a Direct Marketing Farmer as long as they are producing their own agricultural products and selling them directly to the public.

          8.
          Can I accept SNAP for a CSA program?

          Yes, however it’s important to note that SNAP sales are not permitted for goods delivered more than 2 weeks out from the transaction date. Farmers who accept SNAP for CSA shares may require a credit card to hold the order, then charge the SNAP card in-person upon pickup.

            9.
            I live in a state with a free SNAP/EBT equipment program. Am I eligible for MarketLink?

            Yes you are eligible; if you have received equipment through your state then it may impact whether or not you can receive equipment through MarketLink. This will depend on your state’s program regulations and the status of your equipment.

              10.
              What if I am not Eligible for FREE equipment?

              You can still purchase MarketLink equipment. You can purchase equipment (card reader & printer) to accept SNAP, credit & debit. Please review our Purchase Equipment page to learn more.

              11.
              What is the deadline for me to apply for the MarketLink program?

              There is no deadline to utilize MarketLink; however free equipment might only be available for a limited time.

              1.
              I’ve submitted my application, how do I check its status?

              You can check your application's status by logging onto the USDA website and clicking on the link to “Check Status of Previously Submitted Application”.

                You can also call the SNAP Retailer Service Center at 1-877-823-4369 (then select options 2,1) and ask for the status of your application. They will ask security questions to verify your identity, including your FNS #, and the owner's full name, social security number, and date of birth. They will only speak with someone listed on the application.

                2.
                How do I apply to accept SNAP?

                Any business that wants to accept SNAP must submit an application with the USDA to become a “SNAP Authorized Retailer”. Approval can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks, and it’s important to monitor your application’s status throughout the process.

                MarketLink offers free assistance with that application, and we can even submit it on your behalf. We encourage you to schedule a phone call with one of our Regional Representatives to discuss the details of the application and how we can help.

                If you’d like to submit on your own or review details of the process, check out these step-by-step instructions on our website.

                  3.
                  What information do I have to provide for the USDA application?

                  Kindly see our Step-by-Step guide page to review what you will need to prepare before applying for your SNAP Retailer Authorization.

                  4.
                  How long does it take to get approved?

                  Anywhere from 2-8 weeks from the time you submit the required “supporting documents”. March-August is the busiest time of the year for applications, so expect it to take longer if you apply then.

                    5.
                    How long does my SNAP Permit last?

                    A SNAP Permit and the FNS number assigned to it is good for 5 years. After that point, the owner will receive an email and likely a letter stating they need to reauthorize the permit. As long as there has been no change in ownership or location of the farm/market, then to reauthorize you will only need to follow the instructions in the email/letter to go to a website and enter in a code.

                    6.
                    7.
                    What if I need assistance with my USDA application?
                    1. You may call us at 443-212-8084 or
                    2. Email info@marketlink.org to request an appointment from a MarketLink team member to go through the application with you
                    8.
                    1.
                    Is the SNAP Point-of-Sale equipment wireless?

                    Yes. The equipment we provide is wireless and app-based. The equipment is a SNAP card reader that works concurrently with the TotilPay Go app. Customers will need to provide their own smart device to run the TotilPay Go app on (Android 5 +, Apple iOS 12+ devices).

                    3.
                    Do I need to purchase a smartphone or tablet specifically for this program?

                    No, the TotilPay Go app can be used on a personal or business related device.

                    4.
                    Is there a per-transaction fee for processing SNAP through TotilPay Go?

                    No, for TotilPay Go customers there is no per-transaction fee for SNAP sales.

                      5.
                      Does the card reader provided by the grant also process credit/debit cards?

                      It can process credit/debit cards depending on which credit/debit provider you choose. We are partnered with both Square and WorldPay to offer credit/debit card processing.

                      The terms and conditions with Square includes:

                      • No contract required and no monthly fees.
                      • Per transaction for credit/debit sales: $0.10, + 2.6% of the sale
                      • You also need to purchase a credit/debit card reader from Square (~$50). Both card readers will connect to the TotilPay Go app at the same time, and TotilPay Go will track all your sales in one place.

                      The terms and conditions with Worldpay includes:

                        • 3 year contract required +$120/per year subscription cost
                        • Per transaction for credit/debt sales: $0.15, + 1.79% of the sale
                        • Credit, debit and SNAP sales can all be used with the same card reader we provide.
                      6.
                      How long does it take to get the equipment?

                      If you first need to get approved by the USDA as a SNAP Retailer, that step alone can take 4-8 weeks.

                      Once you’ve been authorized by the USDA to accept SNAP (receive your SNAP permit) you’ll need to fill out the TotilPay Go MarketLink Merchant Application, a short online form. Allow 1-2 days for processing, then your SNAP card reader will ship Fedex 2-Day. So if you’ve already been approved by the USDA to accept SNAP, getting the equipment is usually a very quick process.

                      8.
                      How much does an additional card reader cost?

                      $129 for the ChipperBT (card reader only) or $319 for the Woosim P240i (printer card reader combo). You will also need to purchase an additional TotilPay Go license for the additional card reader ($19.95/month or $191.40/year for MarketLink customers).

                      9.
                      How much data does the TotilPay Go app use?

                      Very little - the busiest Farmers’ Markets use less than 1 GB per month.

                      10.
                      When does the free year start?

                      The 1 year of grant-funded TotilPay Go subscription starts when you receive the Welcome Email from TotilPay Go with instructions on how to activate the app. This Welcome Email arrives after you submit the TotilPay Go MarketLink Merchant Application and it is accepted.

                      11.
                      12.
                      What transaction fees will I have to accept SNAP EBT, debit and credit cards all through one device?

                      There will be no transaction fees for SNAP/EBT sales, and the transaction fees for the credit/debit processing will depend on which provider you choose (WorldPay or Square). This applies whether you qualify for free equipment OR are purchasing equipment through MarketLink.

                      14.
                      Will I be charged automatically for renewal when the 1 free year is up?

                      Yes, you are signed up for auto-renewal of a yearly subscription, but TotilPay Go will email you several times to warn you when the end of the free year is approaching so that you can cancel or modify as desired. To cancel your subscription before auto-renewal, complete this form.

                      15.
                      How do I change to a monthly subscription?

                      If you would like to change from a yearly subscription to a month-to-month subscription, complete this form.

                      17.
                      How much will TotilPay Go cost after the free year is up?

                      For Direct Marketing Farmers and Farmers’ Markets, the cost is $19.95/month or $191.40/year.