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Spotlight on Payment Security

Two topics dominated the Wayne Fueling Systems 2016 Technology Summit: mobile payment and the 2017 EMV forecourt liability shift deadline. In fact, the two topics are intertwined as mobile pay is far superior to EMV from a security standpoint, Chuck Cagas, executive vice president of business development for XAC Automation Corp., told the approximately 225 attendees of the event, which took place April 4–6 at Austin’s JW Marriott hotel.

Mobile payment is “one of the best security mechanisms we have to prevent fraud,” Cagas said during his “Mobile Payment 101” educational session. “In fact, in China, they are considering skipping EMV altogether and just going straight to using mobile payment for ecommerce.”

EMV is an acronym that stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that originally created the security standard. As Cagas explained, mobile payment is more effective than payments made with EMV chip cards because each mobile pay transaction involves tokenization, whereby personal customer information is replaced with a token. This is much more difficult for cyberhackers to steal, he said.

Aside from stronger security, the executive ticked off six other benefits of offering mobile payment at the pump:

  1. Differentiate your brand;
  2. Leverage location-based services;
  3. Push out offers to drive customers to your location;
  4. Streamline the fuel dispenser experience;
  5. Push out offers/notifications while fueling to drive traffic into convenience stores; and
  6. Make the payment process virtually invisible to consumers.

It is unlikely, however, that mobile payment will be able to overtake pay-at-the-pump by the Oct. 1, 2017 deadline, the date upon which forecourt dispensers must have EMV chip card readers or convenience store retailers face the possibility of being held financially responsible for fraud occurring at the pump. Thus, retailers will need to make necessary EMV pump upgrades.

Upgrading will prove difficult for convenience store industry players, to say the least, Keith Gardiner, IT manager for Chevron Corp.’s Americas Product Business Unit, acknowledged during an EMV readiness panel discussion. “It’s going to be a challenging process, will be expensive and may take longer than we expect. [But] we will get through this and hopefully get done by 2017.”

C-store retailers hoping to get a reprieve in terms of the forecourt liability shift deadline are unlikely to receive such help, added fellow Technology Summit panelist Tim Weston, product technical leader at Wayne, which celebrated its 125th anniversary during the event. “There is no interest on the part of [the credit card] companies to extend the date because they have to pay the bill [for fraud] longer,” he noted.

Wayne Fueling Systems Technology Summit
April 4–6, 2016 Austin, Texas

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