Switching to EMV the Easy Way

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast helps retailers figure out how to do EMV upgrades.

June 03, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “EMV Upgrades Made Easier,” NACS hosts Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, and Donovan Woods, director of operations for the Fuels Institute, talk with Dan Harrell, chief innovation officer with Invenco, on how to update fuel pumps to be EMV compliant.

“The industry has gone through a bit of evolution through the decades,” Harrell said. “We started with standalone pumps, then came automated pumps that had to be authorized from within the store. Somewhere among the 1980s, we got to pay at the pump, but that was using mag stripe technology.”

Soon after pay at the pump debuted, technology evolved to accept debit cards with a PIN. “But [after that], there wasn’t a big change in the industry until EMV came along,” Harrell said. “This chip technology is the biggest shift in our ability to address fraud.”

While PCI addressed the “harvesting” of data, mag stripes could be easily duplicated. Because chips have some intelligence in them, chip cards aren’t as easy to duplicate.

However, gas stations have more considerations with pump payments than most retailers. “There’s nobody there to help you with [your] transaction [out] at the pump, so we need to think about how we’re going to train the users at outdoor pumps,” Harrell said. “Then there are … other parts of the transaction that happen at the pump, like selling a car wash or selling something from inside the store—those pieces would have to be interactive. But probably the biggest difference in outdoor [EMV payments]… is the environmental piece of it [like temperature fluctuations and rain, snow or wind]. That technology has to be built in such a way that it can endure those conditions.”

Meanwhile, EMV has more complexity than PCI, and that has “created new opportunities for innovators to enter the marketplace,” Harrell said. For example, “you can retrofit your pumps with a third party to accept EMV payments rather than getting that technology from pump manufacturer[s].”

American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa have all agreed to delay the deadline for the EMV fraud liablity shift at the pump to April 16 or 17, 2021.

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.