AUSTIN, Texas — Upgrading to EMV at the forecourt by the October 2017 liability shift deadline will be difficult for convenience store industry players, to say the least, Keith Gardiner, IT manager for Chevron Corp.'s Americas Product Business Unit, said last week during an EMV readiness panel discussion at the Wayne Fueling Systems 2016 Technology Summit.
“It’s going to be a challenging process, will be expensive and may take longer than we expect,” stated Gardiner. “[But] we will get through this and hopefully will get done by [October] 2017.”
Chevron’s IT manager added that the San Ramon, Calif.-based company’s ultimate goal is to “protect our marketers in the most practical way and look forward to the future.”
EMV is an acronym for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that originally created the security standard. Credit card and debit card purveyors have set an October 2017 liability shift deadline, at which time convenience store retailers must upgrade their fuel dispensers to EMV readers, or risk the possibility of being held financially responsible if fraud occurs at the pump.
Fellow Technology Summit panelist Tim Weston, product technical leader at Wayne, asserted that the forecourt liability shift deadline will not be pushed back because it is not in the credit card purveyors’ best interests to do so. “There is no interest on the part of [credit card] companies to extend the date because they have to pay the bill [for fraud] longer,” he noted.
Therefore, c-store retailers — both big and small — need to come up with an EMV forecourt game plan, which Weston acknowledged is a more complex update than the in-store point-of-sale EMV upgrades, many of which were completed last year.
“A number of retailers need to decide if they want to be early or late adopters,” said Weston. “Some won’t meet the deadline because they may not have the fraud profile of others.”
However, panelist Chuck Cagas, executive vice president of business development for XAC Automation Corp., said it is a good idea for retailers to be early EMV forecourt adopters. “It’s best to jump on board,” he said. “It’s not just about fraud. It’s about their reputation as well.”
EMV VS. MOBILE PAYMENT
Many experts argue that EMV, which has been available in Europe for more than a decade, will soon become outdated as hackers find ways to bypass it, especially in the United States where only chip-and-signature technology is required as opposed to the more secure chip-and-PIN technology required in other countries.
Hence, the panelists who took part in the Technology Summit discussion agreed that some c-store retailers will opt to take their chances by foregoing EMV technology altogether and instead focusing on the next hot technology at the pump: mobile payment.
Panelist Christopher Minardi, senior director of global retail payments/product management for FIS, said the EMV “user experience is terrible,” which will drive faster adoption of mobile payment. In fact, he believes EMV and mobile payment will grow on a parallel basis.
“Customers are not used to keeping their card in a reader longer [as is required for EMV transactions],” said Minardi. “EMV is a slower transaction.”
Speaking as a consumer, XAC Automation's Cagas remarked: “EMV is my least favorite payment method.”
The 2016 Wayne Fueling Systems Technology Summit took place April 4-6 at Austin's JW Marriott hotel. Austin-based Wayne Fueling Systems celebrated its 125th anniversary during the event.