The end of the COVID-era boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has resulted in millions of Americans receiving smaller stipends to pay for food. This has led to concerns over increased food insecurity and hunger in the United States, particularly in states with the highest rates of participation in the program.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, preliminary estimates suggest that more than 42 million Americans – around 12.6% of the nation – participated in the program as of November 2022. In some states, such as New Mexico, that figure approaches 1 in every 4 residents. The program has been instrumental in reducing food insecurity for New Mexico residents. Anyway, the SNAP beneficiaries want to stay updated with the electronic payment revolution.
Can you add your SNAP EBT card to Apple Pay and other digital wallets? Yes, but it’s not that easy
If you rely on food stamps to purchase groceries, you may be wondering if you can add your EBT card to Apple Pay. The answer is yes, but the process is not as simple as you might expect. In this article, we’ll explore the steps you need to take to add your EBT card to Apple Pay and why it’s not yet available in all states. Currently, only a handful of states offer mobile payments through their SNAP program.
These states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, and Vermont. If you live in one of these states, you may have better luck adding your EBT card to Apple Pay. However, even in these states, you may face some challenges. There are two major reasons why adding your EBT card to Apple Pay is not straightforward. First, the technology needed to add a food stamp card isn’t yet available in most states. Second, even in states where mobile payments are accepted, finding an app that supports adding your benefits card to Apple Pay can be difficult.
Anyway, add your SNAP EBT card to Apple Pay and give it a try
Adding your EBT card to Apple Pay is a bit different depending on the device you are using. Here are the steps you need to follow:
On iPhone and iPad:
- Open Wallet on your iOS device and tap the + button.
- Tap “Add a credit or debit card.”
- Enter your EBT card number and PIN, and then tap “Next.”
- Enter your name, and then tap “Next.”
- Review your information, and then tap “Done.”
By following these steps, you should be able to add your EBT card to Apple Pay. Anyway, remember that not all states or mobile payment apps support this feature yet. In some cases, your EBT card will show in the list, but it is still possible that it could be rejected when trying to pay for groceries. Also, take in account that, even with Apple Play, you’ll only be able to pay the products accepted by the SNAP program.
What other digital wallets allow you to add your SNAP EBT card?
According to my research, currently, only one digital wallet, Fresh EBT, allows you to add your SNAP EBT card. Fresh EBT is a free app available on both iOS and Android devices. Users can check their balance, track their spending, and find retailers that accept SNAP EBT.
While other digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay have been exploring the possibility of allowing EBT cardholders to use their services, there is currently no information on if or when this will become available.
How do I know if my state allows mobile payments for SNAP?
To determine if your state allows mobile payments for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you would need to check if your state is participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) mobile payment pilot program. As of now, the USDA is partnering with five states for this pilot program: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, and Vermont (source) . These states will test the use of mobile payment technology for SNAP benefits, which includes options like tapping or scanning a personal mobile device as an alternative to a physical SNAP card.
Can add SNAP EBT card to other digital wallets besides Apple Pay?
The EBT card can be used on other digital platforms.
For instance, Sam’s Club is the first retailer to accept digital EBT payment for physical in-club transactions with their Scan & Go service for EBT SNAP. Also, Amazon accepts SNAP EBT payments online as part of the USDA’s SNAP EBT pilot program, allowing residents from all states (except Alaska and Hawaii) to use their SNAP EBT cards to make purchases.
However, there seems to be some confusion regarding the ability to add an EBT card to Apple Pay, as some sources indicate it’s possible. It’s important to note that these sources also highlight that the ability to add an EBT card to Apple Pay may be dependent on individual state policies and may not be universally available.