Computer trouble shuts down access to Oklahoma food stamps

Oklahoma stores could not accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program credit cards when First Data, a payment processing company contracted by these stores, was down from 5 to about 5:45 p.m. Friday, officials said.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: October 12, 2012

Stores in Oklahoma were scrambling Friday afternoon as their computers were not accepting credit cards.

Many food stamp credit card users were told by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program customer service the cards were having issues statewide.

“From what the representative told me on the phone, no retailer in the state of Oklahoma was able to take EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) after 5 p.m.,” said Kierston Willoby, a SNAP card user.

State Department of Human Services spokeswoman Sheree Powell said there was no malfunction on DHS' side and it was not a statewide problem.

Powell said First Data, a payment processing company contracted by local vendors, had a server malfunction for about 45 minutes.

Because of this, vendors could not accept any credit cards, not just SNAP cards, she said.

DHS will not know how many SNAP cards were affected until Monday, Powell said.