Flash Foods Shares Its Story of EMV Migration

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Flash Foods Shares Its Story of EMV Migration


ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Jenny Bullard, chief information officer of The Jones Co. Inc., operator of Flash Foods convenience stores in Georgia and Florida, offered a fascinating look at the 171-store chain’s efforts to upgrade to EMV-capable (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) devices at both the point-of-sale and the pump during this week's inaugural Conexxus Annual Conference.

Flash Foods will have EMV-capable readers in place by Oct. 1, the date when credit card companies will implement a liability shift whereby retailers who do not upgrade their in-store devices will be responsible for fraudulent transactions. However, the total cost of the in-store implementation companywide was $200,000, according to Bullard.  

She acknowledged in-store fraud averages about $20,000 per year chainwide, or about one-tenth of the cost of the implementation. “It will take many years to see an ROI [return on investment] on that,” the CIO said.

Still, these costs pale in comparison to those associated with making Flash Foods' pumps EMV-ready. In order to meet the forecourt liability shift deadline of Oct. 1, 2017, Flash Foods needs to replace 384 older pumps and retrofit an additional 220 pumps, Bullard said. The total price tag for that will be $9 million.

Fraud is also low at Flash Foods’ pumps, she revealed, making it a tough decision whether or not to make all the necessary forecourt upgrades.

One reason in favor of making the outdoor EMV upgrade is consumer perception, she said.

“[If we do not upgrade], will consumers stay away because of security [reasons]?” Bullard asked. “That’s our biggest concern.”

The Conexxus Annual Conference concludes Thursday at the Loews Annapolis Hotel.