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SNAP EBT Chip Card Technical Resources

Resource type
Technical Assistance
Resource Materials
Excel Icon ECL Test Scripts (24.33 KB)


The purpose of retailer testing is to assess POS equipment and software to determine what is required to ensure the POS device is configured correctly to accept SNAP EBT chip cards. Different types of testing will be required for a retailer to accept SNAP EBT chip cards and to ensure SNAP recipients are able to access their benefits if a retailer has yet to update their POS system to accept SNAP EBT chip cards.

Test ECL Fallback Now!

Retailers POS systems should allow SNAP EBT chip cards to “fallback” to magnetic stripe transactions until SNAP EBT chip cards are supported. In this scenario, the POS terminal will know if a card has a chip but will not recognize the EBT AID on the SNAP EBT chip card. This should lead to a transaction processing outcome called Empty Candidate List Fallback (ECL). When this occurs, the POS terminal must allow the SNAP EBT chip card to proceed, i.e. fallback, as a magnetic stripe transaction.

It is important that retailers test their POS devices to ensure uninterrupted processing of SNAP EBT chip cards. To achieve this, please refer to the Empty Candidate List Testing Instructions for SNAP EBT Chip Cards and the ECL Test Scripts for a comprehensive list of test cases that should be completed. The Test tab includes test cases for POS equipment and systems that are currently accepting EMV payments and not yet configured to accept SNAP EBT EMV payments.

Important Notes

  • Contact your POS service provider/acquirer to obtain test cards.
  • The test cards distributed to support this round of testing are not funded, therefore, all tests will result in a decline [card not found]. 
  • It is important to describe any and all unexpected results to each scripted step in the 'Notes' column. 
  • Send all test results to the SNAP EBT Modernization Technical Assistance Center (SEMTAC):
  • Ensure that your terminals fall back to magnetic stripe processing by updating your terminals to recognize the 220 service code. You must also continue to accept EBT cards with 120 service code.
Page updated: May 01, 2024