Fueling Stations Tackle Credit Card Counterfeiting

Fueling Stations Tackle Credit Card Counterfeiting

Because I’ve worked in the ever-in-flux payments industry for three years, whenever I see industry changes and security measures in action, it intrigues me.

I recently made a purchase at Home Depot, and instinctively swiped at the self-checkout. Noticing that I had an EMV chip credit card, the POS device prompted me to insert instead of swipe. How cool, I thought.

In July, I bought guitar strings at a Guitar Center for about $17. Upon credit card payment, the employee asked for the last four digits of my card, and my ID to match. Outstanding security, I thought, and I let him know.

Credit Card Counterfeiting: A Simple Step

My family and I recently drove from our home north of Boston to upstate New York to celebrate a belated Christmas with my side of the family. On the way back to Massachusetts, I stopped to fill the tank. I swiped my card, waited and was prompted for my home zip code.

  • Does Mobil want to know where their consumers are coming from? Maybe.
  • OK, am I going to start getting a deluge of e-mails to join a loyalty program? Probably not. Not enough information.
  • Is this another layer of security? Likely, to prevent credit card counterfeiting.

I obliged and entered the code. I had never seen this before, but in thinking while pumping, it was most likely Mobil’s way of ascertaining the zip code I entered matched the zip code according to the address I had on file with this card.

What if I had entered a different zip code? Would the transaction have gone through? I didn’t want to find out. Earlier this week I posted a question about it on Reddit, and apparently fueling stations have been doing this for years.

Perhaps I just don’t travel enough.

When Will Fueling Stations Migrate to EMV?

U.S. consumer migration to EMV chip-enabled credit cards began roughly three years ago, but U.S. businesses were expected to have the software in place to process EMV credit card transactions by Oct. 1, 2015. As of that date, just over 20 percent of U.S. businesses were prepared.

Gas stations in the U.S. were given a later deadline – Oct. 1, 2017 – to have EMV credit card software in place. Replacing such at the pump is far more costly, particularly for independent fuel stations.

It begs the question: How many fueling stations will be compliant by 2017?

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