Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

How Do Instacart Shoppers Pay For Groceries?

Published On:
Read more here

Key Takeaways

  • Instacart shoppers use a pre-funded Instacart Shopper Card for orders.
  • Alternative payments like personal cards are reimbursed by Instacart.
  • Mobile Checkout is available for credit card orders at most stores.
  • Physical card activation is required via the Instacart Shopper app.

How Do Instacart Shoppers Pay for Groceries?

You can use an Instacart-issued payment card, often called the Instacart Shopper Card or Instacart Debit Card, to pay for customer orders at checkout.

Instacart pre-funds this card, so you won’t have to dip into your wallet to cover the cost of groceries. You only need to present the Instacart card at the register to complete the transaction.

In some cases, you can use alternate forms of payment like a personal debit or credit card to make the purchase. One such instance is when your payment card is declined. Don’t worry—Instacart will reimburse you for all out-of-pocket expenses.

You can also pay for groceries with your phone. Instacart Mobile Checkout lets you checkout using Apple Pay or Google Pay for customer orders paid via credit card.

This feature is pretty handy if you’re a new Instacart shopper. You don’t have to wait for your physical card to start fulfilling orders.

You can use these payment platforms in most grocery stores, but not at big-box retailers like Costco, Kroger, and Walmart. So, I recommend having your Instacart Payment Card whenever you’re shopping so you can pay at any location without hassle.

Understanding the Instacart Payment Card

The Instacart Payment Card works like a debit card. When a customer puts in an order, Instacart estimates the total and deposits that amount to your card once you pick up an order via the Shopper app.

Then, you can head over to the store to grab the items. At checkout, swipe the card, and you’re good to go.

Should you worry if there’s a difference between the estimated total and the actual cost or if an item is out-of-stock or costs more than expected?

Fortunately, Instacart will take care of all adjustments for you. To do this, they put a temporary authorization hold on the customer’s card for a higher amount than the order total to cover these changes.

Once everything’s paid for, you can deliver the goods straight to the customer’s door or drop off the grocery bags at the pickup area if you’re doing shop-only orders.

The Instacart Payment Card makes things easier and more convenient for you. The company wants you to start earning without having to pay out of pocket.

That way, you can focus on the process of fulfilling an order and getting customers their everyday purchases.

Tutorial: Obtaining and Using the Instacart Payment Card

Here’s how to get and use the Instacart Payment Card:

1. Getting the Card

The first thing you need to do to get the Instacart Payment Card is to sign up and join the grocery delivery platform. All Instacart shoppers need to pass a background check before they’re officially part of the team.

Once you’re cleared, Instacart will make sure you get the Instacart Payment Card at no cost.

If you’re a full-service shopper, expect to receive the card by mail within five days to the billing address on your file. Sometimes, it can take a couple of weeks to over a month depending on your location.

Meanwhile, in-store shoppers can get the card from their Shift Lead or Site Manager on their first day of training.

If you’re already a shopper and need a replacement card, you can request one through your profile page in the Shopper app.

2. Activating the Card

Card activation is a self-service feature on the Shopper app and shouldn’t take much of your time. Even if you have a few physical cards, you can only activate one card at a time. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your app and tap on the Profile icon on the menu bar at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Under Account, select the Instacart payment card tab. Here, you should find that your physical card is not active yet.
  3. Tap on Activate new card.
  4. Enter the 16-digit number from your new card in the first field. Then, enter the three-digit CVV (card verification value) or security code in the next field and hit Continue.

3. Making Payments

How shoppers pay for groceries using the Instacart Payment Card is probably the easiest part of your Instacart experience. The process is the same, no matter the type of shopper you are.

The thing about your Instacart Shopper Card is that it can function as either a debit or credit card, depending on the store. Sometimes, the app will tell you that at checkout.

If you’re using it as a debit card, you’ll need a PIN to complete the payment. For some markets, the default PIN for all shoppers is 5454.

You can also find your PIN by tapping on the question mark icon on the top left corner of your home screen. Then navigate to Shopping > Checking out > Your payment card pin.

In other areas, you’ll get a unique PIN for every order. You’ll receive an email from Instacart when this update rolls out in your region.

When checking out orders, check your app for the PIN and ensure you punch it correctly to avoid getting declined at the register.

4. How to Check the Balance

Instacart pre-authorizes the amount on your Instacart Debit Card every time you pick an order.

You can only check the balance of your card if it’s an Instacart Mastercard credit card or a regular Instacart gift card.

Why Instacart Uses This Payment System

Below are the top three reasons Instacart’s payment system is the way it is:

1. Efficiency

A dedicated payment card streamlines the process for you and the customers. Once you pick a batch, the money is there, and you can proceed shopping right away.

Instacart doesn’t burden you with the responsibility of handling payments directly.

2. Security

An Instacart Debit Card prevents scams that target Shoppers. You’re not putting your personal debit or credit card at risk for every transaction, and your bank account details stay safe.

Not to mention, the Instacart card is solely for groceries. So, even if it falls into the wrong hands, it cannot be used for any other type of purchase.

The load on the card is specific to a particular order at a specific store.

3. Ease of Use

Getting your hands on an Instacart Debit Card couldn’t be simpler, and using it is just as easy.

Grab all items on your customer order, proceed to checkout, swipe the card, and enter the PIN if asked.

Handling Declined Transactions

You get declined at checkout because:

  • Your payment card isn’t registered.
  • There’s not enough money on your card.
  • You run the card as credit when checkout requires debit.
  • Your card is defective (damaged magnetic strip).
  • The customer makes too many add-ons to the order.
  • Your PIN is incorrect.

Here’s what you can do if your card is declined:

  1. Make sure your Instacart Shopper app is up-to-date.
  2. Activate your card if you haven’t already done so.
  3. Double-check your PIN.
  4. Run the card as debit and enter the correct PIN.
  5. If you think the physical card is the problem, request a replacement card via the app. It’s never a bad idea to have a few backup payment cards.

If the above steps do not resolve the issue, contact customer service. When you’re in the middle of a batch, the quickest way to get help is through phone support. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Tap on the Help Center icon (?).
  2. Tap on the headset icon in the top right corner of the screen to connect with a support agent.
  3. A virtual agent will appear with a list of prompts. Choose the one that matches your issue.
  4. If this still doesn’t work, you can try the in-app chat or a voice call to fix the issue.

How to Reimburse Out-of-Pocket Expenses

If you’ve made payment from a personal card, you can reimburse the amount by following these steps:

  1. Open your Instacart app and click the Profile icon.
  2. Tap on Reimbursement requests, then Start a new request.
  3. Select the order you paid for on your personal card.
  4. Type the exact amount as shown on the receipt, and hit Save.
  5. Add pictures of the receipt and Submit.
  6. Provide a brief explanation in the Description field and hit Submit.
  7. Wait for two business days for your refund to process. Sometimes, you may receive your reimbursement within a few hours.

Avoid using your personal card if you can help it. Some shoppers haven’t had luck getting reimbursed. Instead, set up a digital card so you can use mobile checkout.

Exceeding the Funded Amount

So, your total bill ends up being more than what’s available on your Instacart Payment Card.

The good news is that Instacart has a system in place for these situations. You can reach out to Instacart’s customer service through the app or website and explain the issue.

From there, Instacart will look at your case. They’ll usually add more funds to your card or come up with other ways to cover the entire cost.

If you’re working a batch (a collection of orders from different customers, usually in the same store), the worst that could happen is that the agent on the line will remove a customer from your account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Instacart Shoppers Pay for Bags?

Instacart shoppers do not pay for bags out of pocket; the Instacart Shopper card covers the entire order, including bag fees.

Customers pay for these fees, with costs itemized on their receipt, including food items, taxes, bag fees, delivery fees, and tips. The shopper handles no direct expenses related to the order.

Final Thoughts: Mastering Payment Processes as an Instacart Shopper

As an Instacart shopper, you’ll never have to worry about spending your money to start earning on the platform. Paying for groceries is super easy with the Instacart Debit Card.

Once you pick up an order, Instacart adds the funds with a little extra to cover any overages. Make sure your physical card is active and on hand for your grocery runs.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the payment process, and feel free to bookmark this guide for quick reference whenever you need help using your card.

Leave a Comment

  • Pricing
  • Uncategorized

How Grubhub+ Works: Pricing, Features & Is It Worth It?

May 9, 2024
6 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Uncategorized

How to Rent a Car With Share Now [Step-By-Step]

March 30, 2024
5 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Uncategorized

The Holiday Car Wash Club Subscription Explained

March 14, 2024
5 min read