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California launches new EBT card protection app

Courtesy of the County of Santa Barbara

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In order to better protect users of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, the State of California launched a new app called ebtEDGE on Friday.

The ebtEDGE app will give EBT cardholders security features such as being able to view their balance and transaction history, freeze and unfreeze their EBT card, change their pin, and block internet-based or out-of-state charges to their benefits account.

The app is available free on the Apple app store for iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android devices.

A webpage providing some of the app's features will also go live on Friday as well. EBT users who log into the web portal will be automatically redirected to the ebtEDGE portal.

EBT cards are particularly vulnerable to various forms of theft, especially when they are used at point-of-sale devices.

The United States Food and Drug Administration estimates that roughly 1% of all benefits issued are stolen by nefarious actors and offers some tips to help people keep their benefits.

Beginning in April of 2024, California will begin to issue chip-equipped EBT cards to further protect beneficiaries. Chip-equipped cards transmit a unique code for each purchase instead of transmitting the card's unique number, making the card's information more difficult to capture using skimming devices.

Article Topic Follows: California
consumer protection
EBT card
phone app
your money

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Andrew Gillies

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