Three Questions to Ask About EMV Compliance for C-Stores
Developing a plan – even one to defer implementation – is better than no plan at all
By Chris Santy Managing Director, Patriot Capital
ATLANTA –October 1, 2015, and 2017 are dates that loom large for retailers across the United States. They represent the deadlines that credit card issuers have set for merchants to upgrade their point-of-sale (POS) equipment to EMV – a standard that promises to substantially reduce credit card fraud.
EMV – which stands for EuroPay, Mastercard, and Visa – uses Dynamic Data Encryption (DDA), where a chip embedded in the card communicates data through a process called “tokenization.” In milliseconds, data is encrypted, transmitted, analyzed and verified – or rejected.
To comply with the various oil brand and payment network requirements, both hardware fuel retailers will need both hardware and software, and in some cases, their site communications infrastructure. For POS, this could cost several thousand dollars for a complete new system, and, on average, $6,000 to $10,000 per pump for the dispenser-side conversion -- according to the National Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing (NACS). Gilbarco, VeriFone and Wayne have published upgrade paths for Encores, Ovations, Advantages and Vista gas pumps and Passport and Ruby / Sapphire point of sale systems. As highlighted in the April edition of PEI’s Tulsa Letter, petroleum equipment “service companies—remembering the precipitous drop-off in business after the underground storage tank (UST) and PCI (payment) compliance deadlines—are understandably reluctant to ramp up hiring and training ( of service technicians) now to satisfy a market that is still undetermined and is likely to be short-lived after the 2017 deadline. All this adds up to a bottleneck two years from now.”
Nonetheless, it’s important for you to make some key decisions about the questions involved when considering an EMV upgrade. One thing is certain – developing a plan – even one to defer implementation – is better than making no plan at all.
Here are three key questions that you can review to help decide whether to comply with the first Oct. 1 deadline:
Am I prepared to shoulder a larger share of liability for credit card fraud?
After October 1, retailers who cannot process EMV cards will begin shouldering the liability for fraudulent transactions on mag stripe terminals.The specific guidance from card issuers like Visa is that the retailer may be liable when a chip card is presented at a magnetic stripe-only terminal.
With fuel marketers losing more than $250 million to credit and debit card fraud in 2014, according to Conexxus, self-insuring may be a costly decision. And with skeptical consumers continuing to fall victim, being “EMV-equipped” will become a valuable distinction for retailers who offer its enhanced protective qualities.
“If somebody walks in with a chip-based card and cannot process their transaction via the EMV standard,” said Michael Tyler, senior director of petroleum channel sales for Verifone, “they’ll simply go elsewhere.”
If I want to upgrade now, where will the funding come from?
Jobbers are always rooting for dealers to succeed – their success, in large part, is dependent upon that of the dealers. With many supply contracts ranging between seven and 10 years, it’s important to leverage the partnership to ensure that EMV conversions, and other forms of modernization – improvements like beer caves, new canopies, digital signage, tank upgrades and the like – serve to enhance the growth of the dealer, and in turn, the jobber.
Such leverage can include a financing partnership – using companies like Patriot Capital – to help dealers and jobbers quickly and efficiently facilitate improvements that add long-term value to such partnerships.
If I decide to wait, what other risks do I run?
Early-adopters will benefit from reasonably available and accessible equipment and labor to make the EMV conversions. Those who wait will likely experience a “demand-based economy,” said Verifone’s Tyler.
Added Parker Burke, Director of Payment & Media for Gilbarco Veeder-Root: “As these deadlines approach, there will be much higher demand on industry resources to support site installations and upgrades.”
About Patriot Capital
Patriot Capital specializes in enabling entrepreneurs to succeed by providing hassle free equipment financing to retailers in the convenience store and retail petroleum fueling industries. Patriot has been recognized as Best in U.S. by the PMAA, Petroleum Marketers Association of America.
Working with our customers to enable them to optimize their capital structures, Patriot Capital is the leading provider of capital equipment financing and leasing to NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) and SIGMA (Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America) members. For additional information, please visit www.patriotcapitalcorp.com.
Patriot Capital is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Richard Browne, Vice-President Marketing