Food Stamp Recipients Get Easy Access to Digital Coupons        

By Jack Grant

The recent holiday season was more rewarding for many food stamp recipients because they took advantage of a unique program that gives them easy access to digital coupons.
A partnership between Quotient Technology and Propel brought digital coupons to food stamp recipients who use the latter’s Fresh EBT app to manage their benefits, increasing their ability to buy more food for their families.

People who receive food stamps benefits could, for the first time, easily access hundreds of digital coupons through Fresh EBT, a free smartphone app that allows Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cardholders to check their balances, transaction history, and add to their digital shopping lists. Fresh EBT is available for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the food stamp program.

The Fresh EBT app, first launched in January 2016, is now used by more than one million people across the country each month. In mid-December 2017, Propel gave these people the ability to clip coupons inside the Fresh EBT app, powered by Quotient. The program is on-going.

“This holiday season was   the perfect time to launch our partnership with Propel,” said Steven Boal, Founder and Executive Chairman of Quotient, which runs the popular app and website. “A big part of our mission has also been to help people in need as well as to help all shoppers save. Too many families are living on the edge, and I’m thrilled that Quotient can help Propel’s million — and growing — struggling families save extra money on groceries.”

Jimmy Chen, CEO and founder of Propel, said, “Fresh EBT acts as a trusted partner in improving our users’ financial health. In particular, many people use Fresh EBT to check their EBT balances before they go grocery shopping, so we have a unique opportunity to influence purchasing decisions by introducing our users to great products at affordable prices.”

Fresh EBT users can now add digital coupons for groceries and household items to their loyalty accounts at many grocery retailers across the country, including Jewel-Osco, Safeway and Stop & Shop, and a range of others. Shoppers simply provide their account number – typically a phone number – at checkout. Savings are automatically applied.

The digital coupons are delivered through the Quotient Retailer iQ platform, which powers the digital savings programs at most major grocers in the country as well as drug, mass and club stores. The platform connects into a retailers’ point-of-sale system, and uses purchase history and other proprietary data to personalize and deliver relevant coupons. Shoppers have access to several hundreds of dollars of savings a day. About 40 percent all U.S. households are registered to savings programs powered by Quotient.

A recently published Harvard study showed that Fresh EBT helped its users make their benefits last longer, underscoring the importance of financial management tools for low income Americans. Fresh EBT is available in all U.S. states and territories.

“Our objective was simply to work with a smart and growing startup that’s serving an important part of the population with great technology – low-income people on food stamps,” Quotient’s Boal said. In addition, Quotient, and our brand, has long worked to help disadvantaged people. So, when this opportunity emerged, it made perfect sense.

“The program is off to a great start. Once people get accustomed to saving money on groceries using their phones, they tend to continue, whether they’re on food stamps or not,” he said.

Propel’s Chen said he is excited to work with Quotient in 2018 to continuously improve the experience of saving money on groceries for a population that needs it. The reception from our users has been overwhelmingly positive so far.”

He reported some of the reaction from consumers:

  • “Great idea and will use it on every shopping trip.”
  • “It's a better way to save can’t wait to go to the store.”
  • “I love the idea that I can clip coupons before I shop.”
  • “I will use it every time I shop at these stores and need to purchase the items I have a coupon for. It will have a major impact on the money I will save on groceries. It’s great having one app for all my shopping, instead of having a bunch of apps to download coupons.”

                                               Mid-January 2018