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Can You Add EBT to Apple Pay? A State-by-State Guide

If you receive SNAP food stamp benefits, you may be wondering if you can add your EBT card to Apple Pay for easy mobile payments. The ability to pay with your iPhone or Apple Watch can make checkout faster and more convenient.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, you can add EBT cards to Apple Pay, but only in certain states that currently support it, like California, Colorado, Connecticut, and others. The list of participating states is growing over time.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about adding EBT cards to Apple Pay, including a state-by-state breakdown of where it’s supported, step-by-step setup instructions, using Apple Pay with EBT, and more.

EBT on Apple Pay by State

Apple Pay has become a popular and convenient way to make purchases using your iPhone or Apple Watch.

But can you add your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to Apple Pay? The answer is it depends on where you live.

Here is a state-by-state guide to help you determine if EBT is compatible with Apple Pay in your area.

Full List of States Where EBT Works with Apple Pay

If you reside in one of the following states, you’re in luck!

These states currently support EBT on Apple Pay:  

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Vermont

Residents of these states can easily add their EBT card to Apple Pay and use it for eligible purchases at participating retailers.

This integration between EBT and Apple Pay streamlines the payment process and provides added convenience for those who rely on government assistance.

Upcoming States Expected to Add Support

In addition to the states mentioned above, several other states are actively working to add support for EBT on Apple Pay.

While the exact timeline may vary, it’s encouraging to know that more states are recognizing the benefits of this integration and taking steps to implement it.

Some of the upcoming states expected to add support for EBT on Apple Pay include:

  • Arizona
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Washington

This expansion will provide even more individuals and families with the ability to conveniently use their EBT benefits through Apple Pay.

It’s important to note that the availability of EBT on Apple Pay in these states may be subject to change, so it’s recommended to check with your local EBT office or visit their official website for the most up-to-date information.

Can You Add EBT to Apple Pay

How to Add an EBT Card to Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a convenient and secure way to make purchases using your mobile device. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process.

Requirements for Adding EBT to Apple Pay

Before attempting to add your EBT card to Apple Pay, there are a few requirements that need to be met.

Firstly, you will need to have a mobile device that supports Apple Pay, such as an iPhone or Apple Watch.

Additionally, you will need to have an active EBT card and be enrolled in a state-administered program that allows online EBT purchases.

It is important to check with your state’s EBT program to ensure that they support online transactions.

Step-by-Step Setup Instructions

Besides adding your EBT card directly to Apple Pay, you can also use your EBT benefits for online purchases by following these steps:

  1. Download and install the mobile app provided by your state’s EBT program.
  2. Open the app and log in using your EBT card information.
  3. Browse the available products and add them to your cart.
  4. When you’re ready to checkout, select the option to pay with EBT.
  5. The app will generate a barcode or QR code that can be scanned at the point of sale.
  6. Show the barcode or QR code to the cashier, who will scan it and complete the transaction.

By following these steps, you can use your EBT benefits for online purchases, even if you can’t directly add your EBT card to Apple Pay.

Troubleshooting Issues

If you encounter any issues while attempting to use your EBT benefits with Apple Pay, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try. Firstly, ensure that you have the latest version of the EBT app installed on your device.

If the issue persists, contact customer support for your state’s EBT program for further assistance. They will be able to provide guidance and help resolve any technical difficulties you may be experiencing.

It’s important to note that the availability of online EBT transactions may vary by state, so it’s always a good idea to check with your state’s EBT program for specific guidelines and instructions.

Can You Add EBT to Apple Pay

Using Apple Pay with EBT Cards

Apple Pay has revolutionized the way people make payments, offering a convenient and secure method of payment. However, one question that often arises is whether it is possible to add Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to Apple Pay.

Let’s explore how you can use Apple Pay with your EBT card.

Making Purchases with EBT and Apple Pay

Currently, EBT cards can be directly linked to Apple Pay, and the use of Apple Pay for EBT transactions is very limited. 

EBT cards are designed to be used at authorized retailers that accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. These retailers have specific point-of-sale (POS) systems that are compatible with EBT transactions.

While Apple Pay is widely accepted at many retailers, it does not support EBT transactions in many retailers’ POS systems.

That being said, it’s important to note that there are initiatives in progress to modernize the EBT system and make it more compatible with digital payment methods like Apple Pay. However, these initiatives are still in the early stages and not yet widely available.

Applicable Transaction Limits

When using Apple Pay, it’s important to be aware of the transaction limits that may apply, even if EBT cards are accepted. These limits vary depending on the retailer and the type of transaction.

Some retailers may have a maximum transaction limit for Apple Pay purchases, while others may have a limit for contactless payments in general.

It’s always a good idea to check with the retailer or consult their website to understand any transaction limits that may apply when using Apple Pay.

Reviewing Payment History

One of the advantages of using Apple Pay is the ability to review your payment history seamlessly within the Apple Wallet app. However, since EBT transactions are not currently supported by Apple Pay, you will not be able to view your EBT transaction history within the app.

Instead, you can access your EBT transaction history by contacting your state’s EBT customer service or logging into the EBT cardholder portal provided by your state’s Department of Social Services.

These platforms provide detailed information about your EBT transactions, including dates, amounts, and participating retailers.

While it may not be possible to use Apple Pay directly with your EBT card at the moment, it’s exciting to see advancements being made to modernize the EBT system. As technology continues to evolve, we hope to see more compatibility between digital payment methods and government assistance programs in the future.

Benefits and Advantages of EBT with Apple Pay

Faster Checkout

One of the major benefits of using EBT with Apple Pay is the ability to expedite the checkout process. With traditional EBT payments, customers are required to swipe their card and enter a PIN, which can be time-consuming, especially during peak hours.

However, by adding EBT to Apple Pay, users can simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the payment terminal to make a contactless payment. This not only saves time for the customer but also helps to reduce wait times for other shoppers.

Increased Security

Another advantage of using EBT with Apple Pay is the enhanced security it provides. When making a payment with EBT, users typically need to enter their PIN, which can be susceptible to theft or unauthorized access.

However, with Apple Pay, users can take advantage of advanced security features such as biometric authentication (e.g., Touch ID or Face ID) or a unique passcode. This provides an additional layer of protection, ensuring that only the authorized user can make a transaction.

Manage EBT on the Go

By incorporating EBT into Apple Pay, users gain the convenience of managing their benefits on the go. With the Apple Wallet app, users can easily track their EBT balance, view transaction history, and receive notifications about any updates or changes to their benefits.

This allows users to stay informed and have better control over their EBT funds, even when they are away from home.

Whether it’s checking the balance while grocery shopping or reviewing recent transactions, Apple Pay makes it easier for users to stay on top of their EBT benefits.

Apple Pay

Limitations to Keep in Mind

Not Compatible with All Devices

While Apple Pay is a convenient and widely accepted mobile payment method, it is important to note that not all devices are compatible with the service.

Apple Pay requires an iPhone 6 or later model, an Apple Watch, an iPad Air 2 or later, or an iPad mini 3 or later in order to use the service.

If you have an older device, you may not be able to add your EBT card to Apple Pay. It’s always a good idea to check the compatibility of your device before attempting to add your EBT card.

Can Only Use for Eligible Purchases

Another limitation to keep in mind when adding EBT to Apple Pay is that it can only be used for eligible purchases.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits provided through the EBT card can only be used to purchase eligible items, such as groceries and household essentials.

Non-food items, such as alcohol, tobacco, hot foods, and prepared meals, are typically not eligible for purchase with EBT benefits. It’s important to be mindful of these restrictions when using Apple Pay with your EBT card.

Merchant Acceptance May Vary

While Apple Pay has gained widespread acceptance at many merchants, it’s important to note that acceptance of EBT through Apple Pay may vary.

Not all retailers and grocery stores may have the capability to accept EBT as a payment method through Apple Pay.

It’s recommended to check with your local store or retailer to confirm their acceptance of EBT through Apple Pay before attempting to make a purchase.

Additionally, some online retailers may not accept EBT as a payment method, so it’s important to be aware of these limitations when using Apple Pay with your EBT card.


The ability to add EBT cards to Apple Pay provides convenience and flexibility to SNAP recipients. As more states come on board with supporting EBT for Apple Pay, it will become an even more useful option for managing government benefits.

Just make sure to use EBT responsibly on Apple Pay by only purchasing eligible items. With a few taps, you can pay for groceries securely using the power of iPhone and mobile payments.

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