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American Express Joins in Shifting EMV Date for Fuel Retailers

NEW YORK — American Express plans to extend the effective date of its EMV fraud liability shift for U.S. fuel merchants by three years to October 2020. This will offer affected retailers increased flexibility in the battle against fraud by providing additional time to upgrade their automatic fuel dispenser systems to accept EMV chip cards, the company said.

Starting October 2020, U.S. fuel merchants may be held liable for fraud chargebacks that result from payment transactions performed at automatic fuel dispensers if they have not enabled these devices to accept EMV chip cards.

"American Express is committed to helping merchants fight fraud and supporting their efforts to manage the costs of upgrading to EMV," said Jaromir Divilek, senior vice president, global network business, American Express. "U.S. fuel merchants face unique circumstances, including complexity of the hardware upgrade and the process involved in making the updates necessary to accept EMV chip cards at automatic fuel dispensers. We want to ensure these merchants have the time necessary to work through this process so they can upgrade their systems to accept EMV chip cards and enhance their security."

Visa and MasterCard recently pushed back their deadlines for installing EMV readers at gas pumps to Oct. 1, 2020 as well, as CSNews Online previously reported.

American Express first announced its roadmap for the adoption of EMV in the United States in 2012. It reported that as of October 2016, more than one third of of U.S. card present transactions on the American Express Global Network are chip card transactions occurring at EMV-enabled terminals, and that nearly all of its U.S. consumer, small business and corporate cards contain EMV chips. The company also announced in June that through April 2018, U.S. merchants are not held liable for chargebacks for counterfeit fraud when a transaction is under $25.

Merchants can also certify their devices for EMV acceptance through the American Express self-certification program.

EMV is an acronym for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that originally created the security standard. Under EMV liability shift deadlines, c-store retailers needed to upgrade their POS to EMV-ready readers by Oct. 1, 2015; at the ATM on Oct. 1 of this year; and at the forecourt by Oct. 1, 2017 in order to avoid being held financially responsible for fraudulent transactions.

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