Visa Denies Request to Delay Oct. 1 EMV Deadline

A man paying at the gas pump

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The EMV liability on the forecourt is still on target to shift in less than six months.

NACS joined with several other fuel retailing groups to ask the major financial card networks to push back the Oct. 1 deadline as the industry wrestles with upgrading its fuel pumps during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Merchant Advisory Group, Petroleum Marketers Association of America, NATSO and Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America joined in the request.

However, on April 6, Visa Inc. — one of the key financial players — denied the request to delay the shift for automated fuel dispensers (AFDs).

According to NACS, Visa stated that it is monitoring the situation and believes that it is too soon to determine if a delay of the liability shift is needed.

"The uncertainty surrounding this crisis and facing American businesses is unprecedented. While Visa wants to monitor the situation, our convenience store retailers are in the middle of it trying to care for their employees and customers. We are 176 days away from the EMV deadline, and retailers are already experiencing equipment delays, increased lead times and lack of vendor and technician availability. They are unable to meet the Oct. 1 deadline under these circumstances, and we hope Visa will reassess their decision," said Anna Ready Blom, NACS director of government relations.

C-stores are considered essential businesses as United States continues to fight the novel coronavirus. However, policies like social distancing and travel restrictions prevent many vendors and technicians from visiting sites, NACS explained, adding 41 states have issued "stay-at-home" orders.

After Visa's denial, the groups sent follow-up follow-up letters to Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

"As essential businesses serving our communities during this national emergency, convenience stores, fuel marketers and truck stops are diligently working to stay open and supply fuel to those who need it most like healthcare professionals, first responders and truck drivers hauling critical goods and supplies. While we have heard you need more time to respond, we want to make you aware of how the environment continues to deteriorate. As such, our associations respectfully request that you remove the AFD liability shift deadline and set a new deadline once the current crisis has ended," the associations wrote in the letters.