EMV Liability Shift Headed for Gas Stations

June 21, 2017

Across the country, a wide variety of merchants have moved to adopt EMV as the world's largest payment processors shifted fraud liability onto businesses that didn't comply with new security standards.

Across the country, a wide variety of merchants have moved to adopt EMV as the world’s largest payment processors shifted fraud liability onto businesses that didn’t comply with new security standards. Late last year, that same liability shift for gas stations was put on hold – for a period of three years – but that hasn’t stopped one major fuel company from making the switch early. Now, it’s expected that trend will continue as consumer preferences move toward an EMV-heavy payment environment.

With the EMV revolution now fully underway and spreading to new types of businesses, it’s vital that any merchants which have yet to make the switch explore all their options and make a smart decision as soon as possible.

In May, an owner of an individual 49 Fuels gas station and the payment processing software developer Gilbarco Veeder-Root came together to start supporting EMV-based purchases at the pump, a first-of-its-kind transaction in the U.S., according to the companies. It’s the opening move in what is expected to become a trend in the fuel industry, as more companies look to cut down payment fraud at the pump, even ahead of that sector’s own liability shift a few years from now.

“We’ve seen our customers rapidly become accustomed to paying with their chip cards inside the store on our Passport system, and they are quickly expecting to be able to use their chip card at the dispenser, as they know that it gives them additional security,” said Kamlesh Patel, owner of the 49 Fuels site that now handles EMV at the pump.

More types of businesses are coming around on EMV.More types of businesses are coming around on EMV.

The Emerging Trend
The EMV rollout across different types of card-reading devices and businesses has been varied, with the initial liability shift affecting most types of merchants taking place in October 2015, according to Convenience Store News. Later this year, a similar rule will go into effect for ATMs. And by October 2020, businesses with fuel dispensers will have to comply as well. However, at a recent industry conference, experts cautioned that some companies for which credit card fraud is more prevalent would see these kinds of chargebacks could come before that 2020 end date.

The most recent industry data suggests that while fewer than half of all merchants across the country have adopted EMV, that includes the vast majority of smaller and medium-sized businesses. In some ways, it seems, larger companies haven’t made the upgrades that their smaller counterparts already did.

Why It’s Important
The fact is that EMV and other security measures are becoming more important today because point-of-sale data breaches and other concerns are growing more prevalent, according to the latest Security Report from Trustwave Global. POS data breaches are on the rise, with 31 percent of all incidents targeting businesses involving POS last year, up from just 22 percent in 2015. These types of incidents were, in fact, most common in North America, due in part to the slow EMV migration.

With all this in mind, it’s vital for merchants to work with a POS reseller to find the security and technology solutions that work best for their specific needs.

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