Not all EBT transactions at a POS device are entered by the participant swiping the card through the machine. Sometimes circumstances cause the participant or store clerk to manually enter the transaction. This usually occurs when there is some defect or damage to the card which causes it to be unusable. Some examples of this are:
- the magnetic stripe on the card is scratched or worn;
- the card’s magnetic stripe has become demagnetized; or
- the card’s plastic coating has peeled off.
Discuss with the participant when a convenient time is to cancel the card and reissue a new one as the damaged card cannot be used once it is canceled.
Until the agreed upon time when a damaged card is canceled, the participant may use the card at retailers. The retailer or participant keys the card number in manually to complete the transaction. This is done in the same manner as credit or debit cards that are entered manually. All POS devices are equipped to do manual transactions. The participant or the store clerk uses the keypad accompanying the POS machine to enter the necessary information. Only the participant should enter his/her PIN! It should never be revealed to store personnel as part of entering the manual transaction!
Discuss with the participant the importance of protecting the card from damage to avoid this time-consuming process. Further information on this is contained in the IM-4EBT pamphlet.