SageCONNECT, Compliance

The Gas Pump EMV Deadline Has Been Extended … but the Clock Is Ticking

August 2020
Sagenet Blog Emv Update

The COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous pressure on convenience stores and other fuel retailers to ensure the delivery of essential services. But the pandemic has also provided one small reprieve — the deadline for converting gas pumps to accept “chip” payment cards has been extended to April 17, 2021.

Initially slated for Oct. 1, 2015, the deadline was extended to October 2020 when it became evident that many fuel retailers were struggling to make the conversion. In May, Visa extended the deadline again due to the unprecedented business disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nationwide shift to chip cards under the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) standard began in earnest in 2014. While traditional payment cards store data in magnetic strips that can be copied and counterfeited, EMV cards use computer chips to create a unique, one-time code for each transaction. That code is useless to a criminal if stolen because it can’t be used again.

Fuel retailers have been given more time than other merchants to make the switch due to the difficulty of converting fuel dispensing equipment. With less than 10 months to go, however, retailers need to have a plan in place for meeting the new deadline.

The EMV Transition Challenge

While the move to EMV is voluntary, card issuers have given merchants an incentive to replace their point-of-sale (PoS) systems with EMV-compliant equipment. Liability for purchases made with a compromised card shifts from the card issuer to the party that is the least EMV-compliant. In other words, the cost of fraud will be the responsibility of the non-compliant merchant. The April 17, 2021, deadline reflects the date that the liability-shifting scheme will apply to fuel retailers.

Many fuel retailers have delayed switching to EMV technology due to the cost and complexity involved. While the card readers used inside a store might only cost a couple of hundred dollars, the PoS terminals in gas pumps can be much more expensive. On top of that, the data cables that connect the gas pumps to the store’s network are often buried under concrete. In some cases, fuel retailers face a bill of $25,000 or more to make the upgrade.

EMV does not eliminate the need to maintain compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). EMV is concerned with preventing fraud in card-present transactions, while PCI DSS focuses on securing cardholder data. Fuel retailers must ensure that they remain PCI DSS compliant as they upgrade their PoS systems and software.

How SageNet Can Help

Last year, SageNet was certified by the convenience store industry’s leading electronic payment solutions partners to deliver EMV-ready managed network services to fuel retailers. Our SageZONE™ solution allows outdoor EMV deployment at the fuel dispenser when using Verifone’s Commander or Gilbarco’s Passport PoS systems. The solution also provides for high speed remote support to download software changes and allow troubleshooting without the need to dispatch a field technician for every service incident.

SageNet also offers enhanced security options via its proprietary SageSECURE™ SIEM and SOC services, providing real-time notifications of cyber threats as well as providing secure access for the many technology vendors on whom retailers rely. The solution is monitored, managed and maintained by SageNet’s experts, with 24×7 support through our U.S.-based Network Operations Centers.

The deadline for transitioning to EMV has been extended, but the clock is ticking. SageNet’s SageZONE solution can help convenience stores and fuel retailers reduce cost, complexity and risk as they convert to the EMV standard.

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