C-stores Must Ready Themselves for EMV 2020

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C-stores Must Ready Themselves for EMV 2020

By Chelsea Regan - 10/11/2017
U.S. Payments Forum logo

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J. — Although the EMV liability shift deadline at the forecourt has been deferred until 2020, there are a number of incentives for retailers to upgrade ahead of time. 

That was one of the key messages relayed during a recent webinar hosted by the U.S. Payments Forum and Conexxus. The webinar, titled “Accepting EMV Chip Payments at the Fuel Pump,” was aimed at helping convenience store operators understand how and why to implement EMV at the pump ahead of the 2020 deadline. Presenters included Kara Gunderson of CITGO Petroleum Corp., Linda Toth of Conexxus, Brian Russell of Verifone, and Cathy Medich of U.S. Payments Forum.

Under the original EMV liability shift deadlines, c-store retailers needed to upgrade their point-of-sale (POS) to EMV-ready readers by Oct. 1, 2015; their ATMs by Oct. 1 of last year; and their forecourts by Oct. 1 of this year in order to avoid being held financially responsible for fraudulent transactions.

However, merchants now have until Oct. 1, 2020 to adopt EMV at the pump. On that date, liability will shift "to the party in the payment chain with the least secure payment technology,” according to the webinar presenters. Who’s held liable will depend on the type of fraud, the type of card (chip or mag stripe), payment network, location of the payment, and system capabilities.

A merchant will not be held liable if the EMV terminal with PIN processing and the site system software with EMV processing is enabled.

Although the EMV “chip” makes counterfeiting credit cards almost impossible by performing cryptographic functions, it is not a data encryption standard. Like with a mag-stripe, cardholder data needs to be protected for a chip card, the webinar speakers cautioned. Point-to-point encryption, end-to-end encryption or tokenization can provide that added security.

There are more than 150,000 c-stores in the United States, 124,000 of which sell motor fuels and are providing 80 percent of all gasoline sold in the nation. With 39 million Americans filling up their gas tanks everyday, and with 72 percent using some form of plastic to pay for their fuel at the pump, it’s vitally important for c-stores to learn about EMV for the safety of their customers.

While the forecourt liability shift has been deferred until 2020, excessive fraud-to-sales ratios, amount of chargebacks, and number of chargebacks could cause c-stores and other fuel retailers to incur penalties over the next few years. The incentives for upgrading ahead of time go beyond avoiding fines, as doing so will allow companies to get up-to-date on next-generation hardware and software, get better access to equipment and technicians, refresh their image and, of course, protect customers, according to the webinar.

Taking on automated fuel dispenser (AFD) upgrades will take considerable planning. Businesses will first need to consult with their vendors or oil brand to determine the availability of POS software for outdoor EMV acceptance. Then, they will need to determine if they can retrofit their existing fuel dispensers or will have to replace them, followed by an overall site survey. After the upgraded fuel dispensers are ordered, they can be installed and upgraded with POS software.

For more information on EMV, including the choices retailers have for AFD, check out the webinar below:



The U.S. Payments Forum is a cross-industry body focused on supporting the introduction and implementation of new and emerging technologies that protect the security of, and enhance opportunities for, payment transactions within the U.S.

Conexxus is a nonprofit, member-driven technology organization dedicated to the development and implementation of standards, technologies innovation and advocacy for the convenience store and petroleum market. 

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