NACS Requests EMV Compliance Delay Due to COVID-19 Crisis
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With nearly six months to go to the outdoor EMV deadline, convenience retailers are asking the financial card companies to push back the Oct. 1 date as the United States grapples with COVID-19.
"Our retailers' top priority at this time is providing fuel and other products to the Americans who need it most and keeping its employees and customers safe and healthy. Given the significant impediments to many retailers getting [automated fuel dispensers] AFDs and appropriate software that accept EMV payments developed, tested, certified and installed, we respectfully request that you delay the AFD liability shift and set a new, achievable date for that transition once the current crisis has abated," NACS stated in a letter to the four major card networks.
Approximately 80 percent of all U.S. retail fuel sales happen at convenience stores.
According to the association, the COVID-19 crisis is impeding retailers' ability to get EMV equipment installed and certified. With a growing number of "shelter in place" executive orders and company policies of social distancing, many vendors are unable to visit stores to perform those functions.
In addition, retailers who are replacing their AFDs must work with local governments to schedule site surveys and inspections, but most local governments are closed or are teleworking, or soon will be, NACS added.
The association also pointed to reports to a delay in EMV inventory as overseas factories close or reduce hours.
"While some report factories are reopening, the downstream effect on the supply chain may delay the availability of AFD dispensers necessary for EMV acceptance," NACS wrote to Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.
NACS asked the payment networks to wait to determine a new EMV liability shift deadline until the COVID-19 crisis has passed.