Michigan Farmers Markets using Mobile Market+ could be impacted by possible closure of Novo Dia Group

Dear MIFMA Members and Friends of Farmers Markets,

As you may already be aware, the Farmers Market Coalition sent an email on Monday in response to an article published by the Washington Post about a situation with Novo Dia Group, the developer of the Mobile Market+ app (MarketLink Program) which is used by many farmers markets and farm stands in the state of Michigan and across the nation to process SNAP Bridge Card transactions. The article stated that Novo Dia Group may be ceasing operations on July 31, 2018, rendering the app unusable for participating farmers markets and farm stands. In addition, it appears that markets using the Novo Dia Group data package will lose access to data service on July 19, 2018.

MIFMA is still waiting for an official statement from the Novo Dia Group to confirm they will cease operations, however, we are inclined to believe the information is accurate. This would mean that any farmers market or farm stand that is utilizing the Mobile Market+ app to process their SNAP Bridge Card transactions may no longer have access as of Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

This will only impact locations that are using the Mobile Market+ app. If your SNAP Bridge Card service is provided by another company, you will not be affected by this closure.  If you are not sure who your SNAP service provider is, here are some quick steps to determine if you are using the Mobile Market+ app from Novo Dia Group:

  • Are you using a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet?
    • Mobile Market+ is a mobile device app used mainly on iPhones and iPads (with the addition of some Android devices starting in 2017).
  • If you are using a mobile device for your transactions, check the name of the app you are using.
    • The affected app is titled “Mobile Market+ Select”.
    • The app icon has a blue background with a shopping cart on it.

If your market is impacted and you participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program, please contact our office as soon as possible at (517) 432-3381 to discuss ways to handle SNAP Bridge Card loyalty credits.

For farmers markets and farm stands that are affected by this closure, MIFMA is here to help support you during this transition. We are fortunate in Michigan that funding was recently included in the state budget to support farmers markets and farm stands to obtain no-cost wireless point-of-sale devices to process SNAP Bridge Card transactions. Since funding became available in May, we are finding that it is typically taking a minimum of 3 weeks from the start of the application process to receive a device. In some cases, it may take longer.  So if your market or stand is impacted by this situation, it is our recommendation that you begin the application process immediately. The quicker you begin the process to replace your Novo Dia Group supported equipment, the less time your market may be unable to process SNAP Bridge Cards.

You can start the process of obtaining the new equipment through this link:
www.mifma.org/snapwireless​

For market managers that are interested, MIFMA will be hosting a Town Hall style conference call during which we will share what information we have and provide you the ability to ask questions.  Please RSVP for this event happening on Monday, July 16, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. at:
https://mifma.z2systems.com/eventReg.jsp?event=758&

MIFMA is continuing to monitor the situation and will be available to talk with market managers about their equipment and access concerns. You can contact MIFMA at 517-432-3381 or email Food Access Manager Joe Lesausky at joe@mifma.org.

Sincerely,
Amanda Shreve