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story.lead_photo.caption In this Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, photo, Laila Ummelaila, a personal shopper at the Walmart store in Old Bridge, N.J., pulls a cart with bins as she shops for online shoppers. Personal shoppers collect items on online orders and greet customers at a pickup location in the parking lot. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Walmart Inc. now gives shoppers who order groceries online and pick them up in stores the option of using their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to pay.

The Bentonville retailer said in a news release Monday that it's the first to offer this payment method for online grocery pickup customers at scale.

"We are always looking at ways to make grocery pickup more available and accessible to customers," Tom Ward, Walmart's senior vice president of digital operations, said in the release. "Access to convenience and to quality, fresh groceries should not be dictated by how you pay."

A pilot program that began last year tested the technology Walmart developed to bring this option to customers, the company said. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 40 million people receive the benefits formerly known as food stamps.

Walmart offers free pickup of grocery orders placed online, sometimes referred to as click and collect, at about 2,450 stores. The retailer has said it expects to have more than 3,100 pickup locations open by the end of the year.

Business on 06/25/2019

Print Headline: Walmart OKs SNAP for pickup orders

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