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Balance: Check your EBT balance via SMS #34

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lippytak opened this Issue Aug 5, 2014 · 11 comments

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lippytak commented Aug 5, 2014

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are used to distribute many cash benefits in CA, including CalFresh and local welfare programs. You can check the balance online by going here and creating an account: https://www.ebt.ca.gov/caebtclient/reciplogin_client.jsp. But that's lame. You can also call the # and enter your 16 digit account number: 1-877-328-9677. But that's lame too.

But what if we could use Twilio to call 1-877-328-9677 on your behalf, transcribe the message, and text back the amount? Here's the basic flow:

  1. Client texts us account # (just the first time - maybe 4 digit confirmation on subsequent uses?)
  2. We initiate call to 1-877-328-9677 and follow the first two prompts (language + case #) automatically
  3. We transcribe audio recording and parse the transcription to get the current balance
  4. We respond to client with balance

@daguar's hacking on this as we speak to determine feasibility before we figure out potential value and optimal UX.

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daguar Aug 6, 2014

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w00t I think Twilio can do the transcription.

I've tested it and — at least based on a sample size of a one account balance ($141.74) — the Twilio robots did their job.

It's worth noting that every transcription is 5 cents, so if we can do it ourselves we can cut down on costs.

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daguar commented Aug 6, 2014

w00t I think Twilio can do the transcription.

I've tested it and — at least based on a sample size of a one account balance ($141.74) — the Twilio robots did their job.

It's worth noting that every transcription is 5 cents, so if we can do it ourselves we can cut down on costs.

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lippytak commented Aug 6, 2014

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fureigh Aug 6, 2014

Rapid rapid rapid!

fureigh commented Aug 6, 2014

Rapid rapid rapid!

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lippytak Aug 6, 2014

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Aaaaaaaaand it works!
blur

"Production" phone number = (415) 798-2736 (Edit: You can test it out using this EBT number: 5077190197646090).

For now PM me, @daguar, or @alanjosephwilliams to get an EBT number to play with. @alanjosephwilliams what are your thoughts on sharing your EBT card # on GH? Risks/benefits/your immediate emotional reaction to the idea?

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lippytak commented Aug 6, 2014

Aaaaaaaaand it works!
blur

"Production" phone number = (415) 798-2736 (Edit: You can test it out using this EBT number: 5077190197646090).

For now PM me, @daguar, or @alanjosephwilliams to get an EBT number to play with. @alanjosephwilliams what are your thoughts on sharing your EBT card # on GH? Risks/benefits/your immediate emotional reaction to the idea?

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alanjosephwilliams Aug 6, 2014

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I don't think it can be used unless the card is run—I haven't yet seen a place to enter the number online (next project??). And as you know I'm not particularly risk averse.

So yes: 5077190197646090

Let me know if the second number (which I believe is meant to represent me, rather than my account) is required.

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alanjosephwilliams commented Aug 6, 2014

I don't think it can be used unless the card is run—I haven't yet seen a place to enter the number online (next project??). And as you know I'm not particularly risk averse.

So yes: 5077190197646090

Let me know if the second number (which I believe is meant to represent me, rather than my account) is required.

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ajb Aug 6, 2014

y'all are awesome. 🌟

ajb commented Aug 6, 2014

y'all are awesome. 🌟

@daguar daguar added the prototype label Aug 10, 2014

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daguar Aug 10, 2014

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First user in the wild (via signs in West SOMA): 3 days, 23 hours after initial idea posted.

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daguar commented Aug 10, 2014

First user in the wild (via signs in West SOMA): 3 days, 23 hours after initial idea posted.

@lippytak lippytak added the health label Sep 18, 2014

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billypat Feb 3, 2015

Hey guys, Our local food Startup wants to accept EBT/Snap, are you guys working on anything like this or know someone that is?

Cheers,

Will
https://github.com/producerun/
will@producerun.com

billypat commented Feb 3, 2015

Hey guys, Our local food Startup wants to accept EBT/Snap, are you guys working on anything like this or know someone that is?

Cheers,

Will
https://github.com/producerun/
will@producerun.com

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lippytak Feb 3, 2015

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hey @hackandgrow! So I hate to do this but I have to refer you to the federal government (bleh): http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers-0. In order to accept SNAP, FNS needs to authorize you as a retailer. There are some inventory and POS requirements (no online sales). If you choose to go through this process I'd be really interested to hear how it goes. Good luck!

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lippytak commented Feb 3, 2015

hey @hackandgrow! So I hate to do this but I have to refer you to the federal government (bleh): http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers-0. In order to accept SNAP, FNS needs to authorize you as a retailer. There are some inventory and POS requirements (no online sales). If you choose to go through this process I'd be really interested to hear how it goes. Good luck!

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billypat Feb 4, 2015

Thanks Lippytak, We are going through the process now.
I learnt that EBT is encrypted differently to the credit and debit cards and restrictions on some products

We are going to become a snap retailer but we are looking for solutions to make this a win win for our farmers and the people that we currently have to say no too(we hate saying no).

Any suggestions on how we could get started with a solutions, perhaps we create an open source EBT payment gateway to show government?

billypat commented Feb 4, 2015

Thanks Lippytak, We are going through the process now.
I learnt that EBT is encrypted differently to the credit and debit cards and restrictions on some products

We are going to become a snap retailer but we are looking for solutions to make this a win win for our farmers and the people that we currently have to say no too(we hate saying no).

Any suggestions on how we could get started with a solutions, perhaps we create an open source EBT payment gateway to show government?

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lippytak Feb 4, 2015

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You're over my head, Will. Sorry! Hopefully someone else can weigh in...

On Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 4:30 PM, William Pattison notifications@github.com
wrote:

Thanks Lippytak, We are going through the process now.
I learnt that EBT is encrypted differently to the credit and debit cards
and restrictions on some products

We are going to become a snap retailer but we are looking for solutions to
make this a win win for our farmers and the people that we currently have
to say no too(we hate saying no).

Any suggestions on how we could get started with a solutions, perhaps we
create an open source EBT payment gateway to show government?


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub
#34 (comment)
.

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lippytak commented Feb 4, 2015

You're over my head, Will. Sorry! Hopefully someone else can weigh in...

On Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 4:30 PM, William Pattison notifications@github.com
wrote:

Thanks Lippytak, We are going through the process now.
I learnt that EBT is encrypted differently to the credit and debit cards
and restrictions on some products

We are going to become a snap retailer but we are looking for solutions to
make this a win win for our farmers and the people that we currently have
to say no too(we hate saying no).

Any suggestions on how we could get started with a solutions, perhaps we
create an open source EBT payment gateway to show government?


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub
#34 (comment)
.

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