Gas Station

Clock is Ticking for Gas Station Owners as EMV Deadline is Approaching

Posted on January 15, 2020

Gas station and convenience store owners have until October 2020 to make their payments at the pump card readers EMV complaint.  Card skimming fraud is rampant at gas stations, exposing consumer payment data to thieves, hurting fuel retailers’ reputations, and costing card issuers an estimated $400 million a year.  Which is the reason that gas stations need to conform to EMV? For gas stations and convenience store owners who want to stay competitive and protect their revenue, they will need to implement an EMV plan.

What is EMV?

EMV is a payment method based upon a technical standard for smart payment cards and for payment terminals that can accept them.  They are smart cards or commonly called chip cards.

While EMV does not prevent breaches, it helps cut down on counterfeit frauds.  EMV cards help prevent fraud because their sensitive data cannot be stolen and used repeatedly like traditional swipe credit and debit cards.

Why Aren’t They Already at the Gas Pump?

EMV upgrades are disruptive for gas stations more so than other retailers.  In some situations, older pumps may need to be replaced before adding chip readers.

Data cables, wireless routers, and servers may also need replacement or upgrades.  Each payment terminal in the pump must be upgraded with the software and the hardware to support the dip slot for the EMV chip cards.  Gas pumps will also have to be connected with wired or wireless connections that meet PIC standards for security.

Inside at the convenience store, it is easier to have EMV point of sale (POS) systems. However, customers are not going to want to go inside to pay.  It will lead to a decrease in customers.

An Option if You Need New Gas Pumps

If you need new gas pumps but you do not have the budget instead of only upgrading one gas pump or dispenser, consider reconditioned gas pumps or dispensers. You can upgrade your older equipment to more modern equipment for a better price.  Reconditioned gas pumps or dispensers come with warranties, so the maintenance will decrease as well.

Gain a Competitive Edge

Gas stations that convert earlier will have an immediate competitive edge over gas stations competing with them.  Fuel prices tend to be fairly universal within a radius. Whereas the competition comes from other sources, convenience stores, services, and security.  It also gives the option of adopting new payment methods like contactless cards, mobile wallet systems like Apple Pay.  These can be draws for customers.

The Effects of Not Converting

Beginning in October, gas station owners that haven’t modernized their gas pumps will face liability for any card fraud that happens at their business.  The burden of the card fraud will shift to retailers who fail to upgrade pump readers to the new more secure technology.  In short gas stations will have to take full financial liability for chargebacks.