Gas Stations Shouldn’t Relax EMV Upgrade Plans

Even though the EMV deadline has been extended, retailers need to continue with their migration procedures.

December 09, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Last week, American Express, MasterCard and Visa announced an extension for gasoline stations to upgrade to EMV standards, pushing back the October 2017 deadline to October 2020. But retailers shouldn’t interpret that to mean they can ignore the migration process, CSO reports. 

Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, urges gas stations to keep moving forward with upgrading their pump equipment to read chip cards. Just because the card companies granted more time doesn’t mean that retailers are off the hook for fraud related to card purchases. In fact, gas stations with magnetic-stripe card readers could face liability for fraud if those fraudulent losses quadruple in amount.

Taylor estimated the counterfeit fraud at gasoline stations reaches around $400 million annually. As other merchants comply with EMV, criminals will likely move to gas pumps, such as siphoning off 500 gallons of gas in bladder tanks to resell.

As they’re waiting to upgrade, gasoline stations should beef up other security measures, such as installing quality video cameras and requiring ZIP codes with credit card payments. Developing a good relationship with local law enforcement can be of significant help too.

Across the country, around 800,000 pumps need upgrading, but with the specification only approved late last year—and not enough installers available—it’s been a slow process. Also contributing is that approximately 3,000 different systems need to be certified. And other merchants have not switched to EMV technology, further tying up resources.

Add on that gasoline pumps need to have a very user-friendly interface with clear instructions. “It became apparent about 18 months ago that there was just no way we were going to make it,” Taylor said.

Look for the January issue of NACS Magazine for more on the EMV transition.