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04/02/2021

Industry Groups Request Delay for Outdoor EMV Liability Shift

NACS, the Energy Marketers of America, NATSO and SIGMA seek an October 2021 deadline.
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NATIONAL REPORT — With the deadline looming for EMV compliance on the forecourt, retailer and fuel groups are seeking another delay from the major financial companies.

On April 1, NACS, the Energy Marketers of America, NATSO and SIGMA sent letters to American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa, Voyager and WEX requesting they push back the date of the EMV liability shift for automated fuel dispensers (AFD) to October 2021, according to NACS.

Outdoor liability is slated to shift in two weeks.

"While fuel retailers have been working around the clock to be fully EMV compliant by the mid-April 2021 deadline, thousands are unlikely to meet the deadline due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and several other factors," the groups wrote.

According to the groups, small retailers faced challenges acquiring hardware and certified software, and a shortage of available technicians to upgrade the pumps even before the pandemic hit the United States in late winter 2020.

The health crisis, coupled with several winter storms this year, have "made the situation worse," they wrote.

In addition, "major equipment and service providers are booked through this summer for EMV projects. For example, Arkansas retailers are experiencing a six-to-10-week lead time for EMV equipment to arrive plus another two to three weeks for installation. In some cases, fuel retailers are experiencing longer delays in AFD installations due to limitations on installation crews associated with COVID-19 compliance protocols," the letter stated. 

The groups adds that the majority of fuel retailers will be fully compliant on the forecourt by the end of the year.

The deadline to shift liability from card firms to retailers was originally scheduled for Oct. 1, 2017 before American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa extended the deadline three years to October 2020.

The financial companies agreed to another delay one year ago as COVID-19 spread across the country. The second extension pushed the date to April 16-17, 2021, as Convenience Store News previously reported.