Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems:
Under an EBT system, recipients are issued an "ATM-like" card and a "personal identification number" (PIN) instead of food stamp coupons. They access their food stamp benefits when purchasing food by using the card at an approved retailer: "swiping" the card through a point-of-sale terminal and entering their PIN. This electronically debits a "food stamp account" maintained for them (and is replenished monthly) and credits the retailer with the purchase amount. States are permitted to issue food stamp benefits through EBT systems, and, unless a waiver is granted, must use EBT systems by 2002.