For many individuals and families relying on Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, self-checkout lanes offer a convenient and often quicker alternative to traditional cashier lines.
But when it comes to using EBT at Walmart, confusion can arise. So, let’s shed light on this subject and answer all your EBT self-checkout questions at Walmart.
In this article:
What is EBT and How Does It Work?
EBT, or Electronic Benefit Transfer, is a system that allows people who receive government benefits to access their funds electronically. Instead of using paper coupons or checks, EBT recipients are issued a card that looks and functions like a debit card.
This card can be used to purchase eligible items at participating retailers, such as Walmart.
Does Walmart Accept EBT at Self-Checkout?
Yes, Walmart accepts EBT cards at all its self-checkout lanes, allowing you to scan your groceries, pay with your EBT PIN, and walk out with your purchases on your own terms. Depending on your state program, this option works for both SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and cash benefits.
Walmart accepts EBT cards as payment for eligible food items in its online and physical stores. This means that you can use your EBT card to purchase groceries, fresh produce, meat, dairy products, and other food items at Walmart.
Using EBT at Walmart Online
To use your EBT card to make purchases on Walmart’s online store, follow these steps:
- Scan your groceries: After completing your shopping, head to the designated self-checkout lane. Scan your items like you would with any other payment method.
- Select EBT payment: When prompted for payment, choose the “EBT” option. Depending on the specific kiosk model, you might need to insert your card first.
- Enter your PIN: Key in your four-digit EBT PIN carefully. The machine will verify your card and balance.
- Separate eligible and ineligible items: Separate your groceries into two piles: those eligible for EBT purchase and those requiring an alternate payment method (e.g., non-food items, alcohol, tobacco).
- Pay for non-eligible items: If you have non-eligible items, use a separate form of payment (cash, credit/debit card) at the self-checkout kiosk.
- Complete the transaction: Follow the on-screen prompts to finalize your purchase, including choosing your receipt option.
Limitations and Eligibility:
- SNAP-eligible items only: Remember, you can only use your EBT card for authorized SNAP purchases like food, seeds, and plants that produce edible foods. At self-checkout, EBT won’t cover non-food items like household goods, clothing, and personal hygiene products.
- Balance check: Keep your EBT balance in mind. The self-checkout system won’t allow you to exceed your available funds.
- Age restrictions: Some states have age restrictions on who can use EBT cards at self-checkout. Check with your local program administrator for details.
- Technical issues: While rare, self-checkout kiosks can malfunction. If you encounter technical problems with your EBT transaction, seek assistance from a Walmart employee.
Perks of Using EBT at Self-Checkout:
- Faster checkout: Self-checkout can often be quicker than waiting in line at a traditional cashier, especially during busy times.
- Privacy: The self-checkout process offers privacy and discretion for EBT users.
- Independence and control: Scanning your own groceries and managing your payment can be empowering.
In most states, Walmart accepts EBT for online grocery pickup and delivery.
Using EBT at Walmart In-Store
To use your EBT card to make purchases at a Walmart store, you can either use self-checkout or go through a regular checkout lane.
- Swipe your EBT card at the self-checkout kiosk.
- Enter your PIN.
- Select the eligible items you want to purchase.
- Complete the transaction.
For regular checkout:
- Present your EBT card to the cashier.
- Enter your PIN.
- The cashier will scan your eligible items.
- Complete the transaction.
Eligible Items for Purchase with EBT at Walmart
Your EBT card can be used to purchase food items at Walmart, including:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
- Bread and cereals
- Snack foods
- Seeds and plants to produce food at home
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Cold sandwiches and salads
Items that cannot be purchased with EBT include:
- Hot foods, such as rotisserie chicken or items from the deli counter
- Alcohol and tobacco products
- Household items, such as cleaning supplies, paper products, and toiletries
- Vitamins and supplements
- Over-the-counter and prescription medications
- Live plants and flowers
Other Services Like EBT That Walmart Accepts
In addition to EBT, Walmart also accepts several other payment methods that are designed to make shopping more accessible for people with low incomes, including:
- WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) vouchers
- TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits
Other Stores Accepting EBT at Self-Checkout
The availability of EBT at self-checkout varies by store. Some other major retailers offering this option include:
- Target: Many Target locations allow EBT payments at self-checkout lanes.
- Kroger: EBT use at self-checkout is available at most Kroger stores, depending on state regulations.
- Safeway: Self-checkout EBT usage varies by Safeway location and state regulations.
- Food Lion: Most Food Lion locations accept EBT at self-checkout.
Remember: Always check with your local store or the store’s website for specific policies regarding EBT usage at self-checkout.
While self-checkout lanes may have revolutionized grocery shopping, navigating them with EBT can raise questions. Fear not! Walmart embraces EBT at all self-checkout stations, offering a quick, private, and empowering way to manage your food budget.
Remember your PIN, separate eligible items, and enjoy the convenience of scanning, swiping, and saving!
Can I use EBT for Walmart delivery?
Yes, you can use your EBT card to pay for Walmart delivery in most states.
Can I buy hot food with EBT at Walmart?
Yes, you can purchase hot food with your EBT card at Walmart, as long as it is eligible.
Can I use EBT on Walmart Scan and Go?
Yes, you can use EBT with Walmart Scan and Go.
Can I use my EBT card on Walmart Pay?
Yes, you can add your EBT card to Walmart Pay.
Can I enter my EBT card manually at Walmart self-checkout?
No, you cannot manually enter your EBT card information at Walmart self-checkout. You need to physically insert your card into the designated slot on the kiosk for it to read your chip and access your balance.
Is Walmart getting rid of self-checkout?
No, Walmart is not getting rid of self-checkout. In fact, they are expanding the use of self-checkout technology and even introducing new innovations like “Scan & Go,” which allows you to scan your items with your phone as you shop and pay directly through the app.
Why does Walmart have cameras at self-checkout?
Walmart has cameras at self-checkout for several reasons:
- Loss prevention: The cameras deter shoplifting and help identify potential theft attempts.
- Monitoring activity: They allow employees to monitor the self-checkout lanes and provide assistance if needed.
- Customer safety: They can be used to monitor for suspicious activity and ensure the safety of customers and employees.
Walmart assures customers that the cameras are used responsibly and that all footage is securely stored and only accessed when necessary.
How to do self-checkout at Walmart?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use self-checkout at Walmart:
Gather your groceries: Place all your purchased items in your shopping cart or basket.
Head to the self-checkout lane: Look for the designated self-checkout lanes, usually marked with green or blue lights.
Scan your items: Place each item on the scanning platform and scan the barcode using the hand scanner.
Select your payment method: When prompted, choose “EBT” or your preferred payment method (cash, credit/debit card) on the touchscreen.
- Insert your EBT card into the designated slot.
- Enter your four-digit PIN.
- Separate eligible and ineligible items. Pay for non-eligible items with another payment method if needed.
Follow the on-screen prompts: Complete the transaction by choosing your receipt option and confirming payment.
Bag your groceries: Pack your items in your reusable bags or purchase plastic bags at the kiosk.
Exit the lane: If required, show your receipt to the greeter and head out to enjoy your purchases!
Tip: Monitor the screen for prompts and instructions throughout the process. If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to ask a nearby Walmart employee for assistance.