EMV Chip Cards at the Gas Pump? Not Until 2020

EMV Chip Cards at the Gas Pump? Not Until 2020

While consumers have largely adapted to using their EMV chip cards at different points of sale, they’ll still be swiping at the gas station for the foreseeable future.

The next four years, that is.

Visa and MasterCard announced Thursday morning that the EMV liability shift deadline for fuel pumps has been delayed until Oct. 1, 2020 from its original date of Oct. 1, 2017. The upgrade is simply not feasible for most fuel stations, especially those independently owned and operated, due to the massive costs in upgrading and even replacing pumps.

The original EMV liability shift at all points of sale (Oct. 1, 2015) has caught on, and though transactions take slightly longer, consumers are adapting. Visa and MasterCard have realized imposing a similar deadline for fueling stations is too tall a task at the moment.

What Are the Implications?

The basis for the EMV liability shift is to curb and eliminate counterfeit credit card use — EMV chip cards are near impossible to counterfeit. In a report from Pyments.com, counterfeit credit card fraud is down 50 percent in the first year of EMV implementation.

However, counterfeiters, like all good fraudsters, will migrate to other tactics of thievery. An online search for ‘gas station skimmers’ yields countless news stories from all over the country about fueling stations (and their customers) getting swindled.

Upgrading to EMV Chip Cards at the Pump: Prepare to Pay

According to a Dec. 1 article by Jim Daly on DigitalTransactions.net, a fueling station will spend between $20,000-$30,000 to upgrade their point of sale systems. Those fueling station merchants who need to replace both their POS systems and fuel pumps may spend as much as $80,000.

2 Possibilities for Fuel Station Merchants

The liability shift is just under four years away. For some fueling station merchants, however, it still may not be long enough to upgrade systems, prompting two possible scenarios:

  • Firstly, consumers could see an increase in full-service fueling stations, in which the attendants fuel a consumer’s vehicle and run the credit card through one single EMV chip card reader in-store.
  • Additionally, we may see fueling station merchants turn to portable EMV chip card terminals, brought to consumers’ vehicles the way some restaurant wait staff bring them to guest tables.

One Piece of Advice

Recently we blogged about a seminar we attended in which fraud expert Frank Abagnale outlined the many ways consumer personal information is at risk. One of them was the use of a debit card at a gas station or ATM, which are hotspots for skimmers.

Whenever possible, a credit card should be used in place of a debit card, especially at a gas station. A debit card is a gateway to a consumer’s bank account. With a credit card, the liability rests on the issuer.

Instabill Isn’t Just E-Commerce

Though known as an e-commerce merchant services provider, Instabill can get your brick and mortar business completely furnished with POS software in little time. Speak with a live merchant account manager today at 1-800-318-2713 or click on the live chat option below.

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