Can You Add Ebt To Apple Pay? A Comprehensive Guide

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards provide a convenient way for recipients to access nutritional assistance benefits. With mobile payment services like Apple Pay becoming increasingly popular, you may be wondering if you can add your EBT card to the Apple Wallet app.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about using EBT with Apple Pay.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, it is possible to add an EBT card to Apple Pay in most states. However, there are some important factors to consider first.

EBT Card Compatibility with Apple Pay

Which States Allow EBT on Apple Pay

Currently, there are a limited number of states that allow EBT cardholders to add their cards to Apple Pay.

The states that permit EBT on Apple Pay include:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington

This list is subject to change over time. EBT cardholders in other states should check with their state’s EBT provider to see if Apple Pay integration is on the roadmap. As mobile wallet adoption grows, more states are working to add EBT compatibility.

Compatible Card Issuers

In addition to geographic availability, the ability to add an EBT card to Apple Pay depends on the card issuer. The major EBT card issuers that currently support Apple Pay include:

  • FIS
  • Fiserv
  • Comdata

Cardholders should confirm the issuer of their specific EBT card and check if they have enabled Apple Pay integration. In states that permit EBT on Apple Pay, cardholders with a compatible issuer should be able to securely add their card for contactless payments.

As more states and issuers adopt support, Apple Pay will become an increasingly convenient way for EBT users to checkout.

How to Add an EBT Card to Apple Pay

Requirements for Adding EBT to Apple Pay

In order to add an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to Apple Pay, there are a few requirements that need to be met.

Firstly, you will need an iPhone or Apple device that supports Apple Pay. This includes devices such as iPhone 6 and newer, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and Apple Watch.

Additionally, you will need to have the latest version of iOS installed on your device.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that not all states and retailers support EBT integration with Apple Pay. Therefore, it is crucial to check with your state’s EBT program or your preferred retailer to see if they accept EBT payments through Apple Pay.


Step-by-Step Setup Instructions

Once you have confirmed that your state and retailer support EBT integration with Apple Pay, follow these step-by-step instructions to add your EBT card:

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone or Apple device.
  2. Tap the “+” (plus) sign to add a new card.
  3. Select “Add Another Card” option.
  4. Scan or manually enter the information on your EBT card when prompted.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to verify your card.
  6. Once verified, you can start using your EBT card with Apple Pay.

It’s important to note that using your EBT card with Apple Pay may have some limitations. For example, you may not be able to use EBT funds for certain items or services that are not eligible for EBT transactions.

It’s always a good idea to check with your state’s EBT program or retailer for any restrictions or guidelines. For more detailed instructions and troubleshooting tips, you can visit the official Apple Support website

Using EBT with Apple Pay In-Store

Apple Pay has become a popular method of payment for many individuals due to its convenience and security features. However, using Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) with Apple Pay in-store is not currently supported.

EBT is a government assistance program that provides nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and families. While Apple Pay offers a seamless and contactless payment experience, it is important to note that EBT transactions can only be processed using the specified EBT card or voucher at authorized retailers.

Paying at Checkout

When using EBT, it is necessary to present the physical EBT card or voucher at the checkout counter. This ensures that the transaction is processed correctly and that the funds are deducted from the recipient’s EBT account.

While Apple Pay can be used for other forms of payment, such as credit or debit cards, it is not currently compatible with EBT transactions. Therefore, when using EBT, it is important to have the physical card or voucher on hand for payment.

Paying at Checkout

Possible Fees or Surcharges

While there are typically no additional fees or surcharges associated with using EBT, it is important to note that individual store policies may vary. Some retailers may charge convenience fees for EBT transactions, but these fees are regulated by the government and must be disclosed to the recipient.

Therefore, it is advisable to inquire about any potential fees or surcharges before making a purchase with EBT.

Receipts and Transaction History

One of the benefits of using EBT is that recipients receive receipts for their transactions, which can be helpful for budgeting and record-keeping purposes. These receipts detail the items purchased, the amount deducted from the EBT account, and the remaining balance.

Additionally, recipients can access their transaction history online or by contacting the EBT customer service line. This allows for easy tracking of purchases and ensures that the funds are used appropriately.

Online Purchases with EBT and Apple Pay

Many people wonder if it is possible to use their EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card with Apple Pay for online purchases. While Apple Pay is a convenient and secure way to make payments using your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, it is important to note that EBT cards are currently not accepted as a form of payment through Apple Pay.

However, there are other options available for making online purchases using EBT.

States Where Online EBT is Available

Currently, there are a select number of states that offer online purchasing options for EBT recipients. These states include California, Florida, New York, and Texas, among others.

Each state has its own specific rules and guidelines for online EBT purchasing, so it is important to check with your local Department of Social Services or EBT program to see if online purchases are available in your state.

Making Purchases on Websites

While you can’t use Apple Pay with your EBT card, you can still make online purchases using your EBT card directly on certain websites. Some retailers, such as Walmart and Amazon, allow customers to pay with their EBT card for eligible food items.

To make a purchase, simply add the items you wish to buy to your cart, proceed to checkout, and select the option to pay with EBT. You will be prompted to enter your EBT card information and, in some cases, your PIN number.

It is important to note that EBT can only be used to purchase eligible food items and not for non-food items or services.

Using the Instacart App

Another option for using your EBT card for online grocery shopping is through the Instacart app. Instacart partners with certain retailers to offer EBT payment options for eligible food items. Simply download the Instacart app, enter your zip code to see if it is available in your area, and select the retailer you wish to shop from.

Add the items you want to your cart and proceed to checkout. At checkout, you will have the option to pay with EBT. You may be required to enter your EBT card information and, in some cases, your PIN number.

Instacart also offers delivery options, making it a convenient choice for those who are unable to visit the store in person.

While EBT cards cannot be added to Apple Pay, there are still ways to make online purchases using your EBT card. Whether it’s through specific websites or using the Instacart app, these options provide convenience and accessibility for EBT recipients.

Remember to check with your state’s EBT program for specific guidelines and rules regarding online EBT purchases.

Instacart app

EBT Card Security with Apple Pay

When it comes to using your EBT card with Apple Pay, security is a top concern for many users. The good news is that Apple Pay provides a secure platform for making transactions, including those made with EBT cards.

Is Apple Pay Safe for EBT?

Apple Pay utilizes industry-leading security measures to protect your personal and financial information. Each transaction made with Apple Pay is encrypted and authenticated using Face ID or Touch ID, ensuring that only you can authorize payments.

This adds an extra layer of security to your EBT transactions and helps prevent unauthorized access to your funds.

Additionally, Apple Pay does not store your actual EBT card number on your device or on Apple servers. Instead, it generates a unique device account number that is used for transactions. This means that even if your device is lost or stolen, your EBT card information remains secure.

Lost or Stolen Device Protections

If your device is lost or stolen, you can take immediate action to protect your EBT card. With Find My iPhone, you can remotely lock your device or erase its data to prevent unauthorized access.

Furthermore, even if someone were to gain physical access to your device, they would still need your Face ID or Touch ID to authorize transactions with your EBT card.

It’s important to note that if your EBT card is lost or stolen, you should contact your local EBT office as soon as possible to report the incident and request a replacement card.

They will be able to assist you in safeguarding your funds and issuing a new card.

Contactless Payment Fraud Preventions

Apple Pay also incorporates several features to prevent contactless payment fraud. For instance, when you make a transaction with your EBT card using Apple Pay, the card details are never shared with the merchant.

Instead, a unique transaction code is generated for each purchase, making it impossible for hackers to steal your card information.

In addition, Apple Pay uses tokenization, which replaces card numbers with unique tokens. This means that even if a hacker were to intercept the transaction data, they would only obtain a meaningless token that cannot be used for fraudulent purposes.

Tokenization adds an extra layer of security to your EBT transactions and helps protect your funds.

For more information on EBT card security and Apple Pay, you can visit the official Apple Pay website or contact your local EBT office for guidance specific to your region.


Adding your EBT card to Apple Pay provides a convenient way to make contactless payments using your iPhone or Apple Watch. Just be sure to check if EBT is supported in your state and by your specific card issuer first.

Understanding any potential fees, fraud protections, and usage restrictions will ensure a smooth experience using mobile EBT. With a few easy setup steps, you can start enjoying the speed and security of Apple Pay for your essential grocery and meal purchases.

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