A reader sends in this photo of a US Postal Service automated kiosk displaying a message that the machine accepts EBT to purchase postage.
Not only is this ironic, but it allows for use of EBT to purchase money orders and send money without the use of a bank. Call it “governmentception”–like a dream within a dream, one government program inside of another.
The USPS considers EBT in the same category of payment as a debit card and states on their About page, “Most debit cards and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are accepted for all Postal Service products and services.” Thus, a customer not belonging to any bank could use EBT to purchase a money order to pay a bill or send money to another person–or even acquire a passport.
There is a reason why EBT funds are only colloquially referred to as “food stamps” as of late; the range of commodities they can be used to purchase has widely broadened over time. EBT has been used to buy cigarettes, gasoline, and even booze and strip club jaunts.