Payment Cards

Payment cards are an easy way for you to pay for goods and services from shops that accept them.

How the payment card works

What a payment card looks like.

Our payment cards look like Eftpos cards.

We load them with a cash balance so you can buy approved items.

The balance is either loaded onto a card you have already, or a new card if you don't have one.

You can use the card in shops that take Eftpos, and have registered with us to accept our card.

You'll need to spend any balance loaded onto your card within 7 days. This period was extended from the usual 3 days in response to COVID-19.

It’s important to use your payment card to buy essential items only such as food, petrol, clothing - it depends what you've applied for, and you can talk to a Work and Income staff member about this.

Payment Cards must not be used for non-essential items like:

  • alcohol
  • cigarettes
  • vaping products
  • tobacco
  • gift cards
  • vouchers (this excludes phone top-ups)
  • lotto tickets
  • non-essential appliances (such as an air fryer), or
  • non-essential electronics (such as a gaming console).

To find out more about how to use your payment card, go to Using your Payment Card.

Getting a voucher instead of a payment card

There are times when we need to give you a payment voucher instead of a payment card, for example when:

  • local shops or landlords don't have Eftpos terminals
  • you're unable to use a payment card
  • the Eftpos network or our internal systems are down
  • there's a state of emergency.


Don't throw the card away after you've used up the balance. Keep it so we can use it again if you need more help.

  • Getting a card

    You need a payment card:

    • the first time you’re given a food or hardship grant (if you haven't had one before), or
    • after you talk with your Youth Service provider about your application for Youth Payment or Young Parent payment
    • if you've lost an earlier card and you need a new one
    • if your earlier card has expired and you need a new one.

    If you're applying for a payment and need a payment card to load this onto, please call us to talk about how we can get a card to you.

    When you get your card, we'll:

    • ask you to sign the back of your card
    • let you know what you can use your payment card for and where.
  • Keep your payment card safe

    Keep your card safe, it’s like an Eftpos card.

    We can't add a new balance to a card you've lost.

    We'll need to cancel a lost card and give you a new card as soon as we can.

  • What to do if you lose your card

    Call us to tell us you've lost your card. When you do say 'payment card'.

    Contact us

    If you have a Youth Service Provider, let them know you've lost your payment card too.

  • What to do if someone shops for you

    Under the Orange traffic light setting, we have made temporary changes to support you if you can't get to the supermarket because you're self-isolating.

    Friends or family members can now use your payment card to buy essential items for you.

    It means checkout operators no longer need to check that the shopper’s signature matches the signature on the payment card.