Avoid Outdoor EMV Chargebacks With Affordable Solutions

Retrofit at the pump speeds up EMV compliance.

April 27, 2021

EMV Chip Payment at Gas Pump

This article is brought to you by InvencoInvenco-Color-Logo_eps_200.jpg

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—After several postponements, the deadline for gas stations to comply with the new EMV standard for pay-at-the-pump transactions is here. Retailers are now fully liable for any fraudulent charges made at non-compliant outdoor payment terminals, and those who have not yet upgraded to outdoor EMV will be required to repay those charges to the credit card networks.

According to Visa, about half of all outdoor transactions today use the chip-on-chip technology. Linda Toth, managing director of Conexxus, predicts the percentage of fuel retailers who have completed their EMV rollout at the pump could approach 70% by the end of April. That said, the percentage of fully outdoor-EMV-compliant sites industry-wide will be lower, depending on how many individual sites retailers, especially larger chains, need to upgrade.

“We anticipate that approximately $450 million worth of counterfeit fraud at outdoor payment terminals will occur this year,” Toth said. “After the EMV liability shift, the merchant will be responsible for any fraudulent non-EMV transactions at their dispensers.”

Many retailers have hesitated to make the investment in new technology. Replacing fuel pumps can be expensive, time consuming and disruptive to gas station operations, and the pandemic has delayed the ability to get EMV equipment installed and certified. But there is a remedy for those problems.

“Instead of replacing an entire fuel pump, which runs about $60,000, retailers can change the payment components on existing pumps at a fraction of the cost,” said Craig Panter, chief business development officer of Invenco, a global provider of secure self-service payment solutions and retail fuel technology. “By integrating EMV payment terminals into retrofit kit panels and/or doors, the installation process is easier, faster and less expensive. Certified retrofit kits are available for almost every pump model in the U.S. market, and technicians from outside the industry can perform the retrofit with minimal training and site disruption.”

Although it takes four to six hours to install a new fuel dispenser, a retrofit can be completed in 90 minutes or less, allowing the retailer to start the process sooner and wrap it up faster with less disruption to the busy forecourt. Fuel pump replacements require a permit, but in most locations retrofits don’t, which also speeds up the process.

Current pricing programs let fuel retailers pay for outdoor EMV as a service. That means the retailer pays an installation fee that is significantly less than installing new pumps, followed by a set monthly fee from $132 per pump/per month for four years. That cost includes all warranty and service on the outdoor payment terminal and associated equipment for the life of the contract, excluding intentional damage such as vandalism.

When looking at retrofit-based options for outdoor EMV, Panter warns retailers to make sure their solution is one that meets industry certifications, such as PCI and UL standards, while offering the latest in pay-at-pump terminal technology. He notes, “while it is important to address outdoor EMV quickly, retailers should be sure their investment is solving the current problem at hand while delivering value on the long term. There is no point in a ‘quick fix’ solution, which will just end up costing more to replace in the long run.”

With the retail fuel industry entering a new era of outdoor EMV-certified payment solutions, the opportunity for increased customer engagements and safer payments makes this an exciting time for fuel retailers. There are affordable models of pump upgrades that align with these new market trends, and retailers should review all options before deciding on a pay-at-pump solution.

This is the first installment of a two-part series about achieving EMV compliance. Click here for more information about Invenco’s EMV-compliant payment terminals.