New EMV updates are coming October 1, 2020, specifically affecting businesses that operate automated fuel dispensers/pumps (AFDs). With the rollout now less than a year away, merchants in charge of gas pumps affected by these new standards are currently switching out their payment technology to those EMV chip compatible. This process can be a bit intimidating, however.
To help, MerchantPro Express (MPX) has compiled the information merchants need to achieve compliance, save money, and prevent headaches.
What are these new EMV standards and why should I follow them?
EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) is recognized as the global standard for debit and credit card transactions utilizing chip technology to improve security. Similar to the EMV liability shift that went into effect on October 1, 2015 and affected most retail operations accepting credit and debit payments, the 2020 EMV update is intended to protect gas station customers' personal information by requiring the use of EMV chip technology in credit card readers. Businesses that do not adhere to these new standards will assume responsibility for any fraudulent transactions taking place at their locations.
Didn’t I hear about this a few years ago?
Yes. The transition to more secure EMV technology has been going on for nearly a decade to reduce instances of fraud. As previously stated, these standards were enforced on most businesses in 2015. Gas stations were originally granted until 2017 to make this switch, but in light of the added steps that make such as transition a bit more complicated, credit card industry leaders agreed to push the deadline to October 1, 2020.
What can I do to become compliant before the October 1, 2020 deadline?
1. Don’t wait. Equipment providers and service technicians will become increasingly occupied as the deadline approaches.
According to Conexxus, a division of the National Association of Convenience Stores, there are roughly 800,000 gas pumps that require updating to be compliant with the new standards. Some organizations have already done so, but many continue to wait. Hesitating to make this necessary switch will only increase the demand for equipment services, which will inevitably lead to delays, and could result in your business being left without its new equipment, even after the October 1 deadline.
In addition to the limited availability of equipment retailers and service technicians necessitating immediate action on the part of the merchant, the EMV updating process can take months when the equipment ordering, installation, and configuration processes are taken into consideration.
2. Coordinate with your credit card processing provider.
Updating pump technology to properly meet new EMV standards requires more than simply buying and installing gas pump chip readers. It also demands coordination with your credit card processor to ensure your new equipment is properly set up to accept credit cards and facilitate those payments.
Just some of these activities include:
- Activating EMV services
- Providing new terminal IDs when necessary
- Confirming new equipment is correctly configured
The necessary steps above cannot be completed by service technicians, and so working with a reliable credit card processing company is critical to experiencing a smooth transition. MerchantPro Express manages the credit card processing of thousands of merchants across the country, and was instrumental for merchants during the previous EMV liability shift in 2015.
3. Explore ways to help offset the cost of upgrading equipment.
A common reason why many merchants hesitate in taking steps toward EMV compliance is the expense associated with upgrading their gas pumps to include chip readers. The exact amount a merchant pays will have to do with the equipment they select and number of fueling stations requiring upgrading, but there are ways merchants can save elsewhere in their business processes to help reduce the impact of that expense.
One of the leading ways merchants can save, while also promoting a swift and easy EMV transition, is switching credit card processing providers.
Accepting credit cards is a central aspect of virtually every gas station. Reductions in fees leveraged on your business every time a customer swipes a card can result in significant savings month after month. MerchantPro Express, for instance, can save merchants of all types as much as 30% on their credit card processing fees, while also offering the outstanding level of personalized service that has separated MPX from its competition for more than a decade.