Retail Fueling Industry Prepares for EMV Liability Shift

The just-released Conexxus fall survey shows significant progress for deploying EMV-compliant pumps.

October 02, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The results are in—the U.S. convenience and retail fueling industry is making important headway in both sentiment and action for upgrading to EMV-compliant pumps. Across the United States, skimming incidents contributed to more than $300 million in counterfeit fraud at outdoor fuel dispensers in 2019, according to major card reporting data. This year, that loss is predicted to hit $451 million.

The deadline to shift liability from card firms to retailers was originally scheduled for Oct. 1, 2017. However, given the challenges facing convenience retailers in compliancy, American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa extended the deadline to October 2020. When COVID-19 struck, many retailers had their efforts to become EMV-compliant disrupted. The card brands granted a second extension, this time to April 16-17, 2021.

To gauge how far along retailers were in upgrading, Conexxus has been conducting surveys. Conexxus recently published the final results for its new fall 2020 survey on EMV preparedness for the industry, which shows that nearly 81% of respondents said they’d deployed or are planning to deploy contactless EMV outside. The percentage of undecided responses held at 13% post-COVID-19, compared with 40% in the pre-pandemic responses.

The survey results reveal compelling information about retailers’ appreciation of EMV-related risks. “In the 2019 survey, a lot of merchants didn’t understand the risk of not implementing EMV, they wanted to wait to see what happens,” said Linda Toth, managing director of Conexxus. “Now they realize that there’s a big risk in not upgrading. All it takes is one incident to put them out of business.”

Conexxus will present an education session on EMV during this year’s NACS Crack the Code Experience. To access the full fall 2020 Conexxus survey, click here. For more on industry EMV-compliance, read “When the Chips are Down,” in the October issue of NACS Magazine.