This article is brought to you by Dover Fueling Solutions, which delivers advanced fuel dispensing equipment, electronic systems and payment, automatic tank gauging and wetstock management solutions to customers worldwide.
AUSTIN, Texas – Last year, Visa and MasterCard pushed back the deadline for U.S. fuel retailers to install EMV® chip-card readers at gas pumps to October 1, 2020. While this gives retailers extra time to upgrade their dispensers, they should take action immediately, according to subject matter experts at Dover Fueling Solutions.
“We estimate that between 350,000 and 380,000 fuel dispensers need to be upgraded for EMV, and there aren’t enough technicians to get it done in time,” said Steve Van Vlack, business development manager, Dover Fueling Solutions. “If every technician started today, it wouldn’t get done until after the deadline. People are reluctant to upgrade now, thinking they have plenty of time.”
Making fuel dispensers EMV-compliant protects the merchant from accepting fraudulent credit cards, and new features, such as encryption, may be added to help reduce Payment Card Industry scope. It also will reduce the chance of charge-backs from credit card companies, which have vowed to push any fraudulent expenses back to retailers whose pumps aren’t upgraded by the 2020 deadline.
“The upgrade that each dispenser requires depends on the age of the equipment,” Van Vlack said. “We have both dispenser replacements and upgrade kits for multiple dispenser lines that allow them to accept the EMV chip cards.”
He suspects many merchants are postponing the move to EMV because they think Visa and MasterCard will extend the deadline once again.
“I wouldn’t count on it,” said Linda Toth, director of Standards for Conexxus, the nonprofit, member-driven technology organization for the convenience store and retail fueling market, who notes that the original deadline was pushed out once for sound reasons.
“It took a long time to educate the card brands about our realities and what it was going to take to do outdoor,” Toth said. “A lot of retailers aren’t going to meet the deadline, but I don’t think the card brands are going to push back the deadline. Every indication that we have is ‘No, that’s not going to happen again.’”
“The industry has been educating retailers for the last three years; now is the time to act,” Van Vlack said. “If retailers continue to wait, they are at risk of missing the deadline and absorbing the chargebacks.”