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EMV Compliance Creates Opportunity for Mobile Payment Upgrade

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mobile payment man wearing black suit holding android phone for payment process

At this point, fuel marketers are well aware of the extended EMV deadline. In fact, at this point it probably sounds like the faint ticking noise of a clock in the background, slowly counting down towards October 1, 2020. The deadline, which has been pushed out three years, requires merchants to be ready to accept new chip-based cards – giving fuel marketers and C-store owners the chance to plan for and properly finance the switch to an EMV compliant POS system – or pay the penalties if cards are fraudulently used on their systems.

The old magnetic stripes which are easy to counterfeit are currently being replaced with chip based cards from banks; nearly 85% of consumer credit cards have made the switch to EMV technology. Under the new system, if a retailer accepts a chip card but doesn’t have a chip reader, the bank will no longer bear responsibility for fraud if the card is counterfeit, shifting the burden to the retailer.

The shift to EMV is being pushed largely in response to the increase in “skimmers” being used at gas dispensers. The skimmers make it easy for criminals to steal large amounts of money without resorting to the guns, blood and violence that have been the norm in the past. For example, Oklahoma has indicted two men who were caught raking in more than $400,000 in cash between April 2014 and January 2015. The criminals would leave skimmers in the gas pumps for one–two months before downloading the information they gathered via Bluetooth. On one occasion the duo was recorded withdrawing $45,280 in one day from ATM’s in the Oklahoma City area. No retailer wants to risk a data breach like this that would reflect negatively on their customer base.

There are many reasons as to why merchants have yet to make the switch. Some have technology vendors or processors whose services do not comply; others have equipment installed but may be caught in a bottleneck as certification companies are hit by a sea of last-minute requests. On top of that it’s not just technical details that have to be considered. Retailers must train staff and customers on handling EMV transactions, where cards are “dipped” into the reader rather than swiped.

The top fuel marketers have been running EMV for the past year or more, but as you go down the tiers, not everyone is ready to go. However, it is important for retailers that don’t expect to be immediately compliant still need to be planning their EMV implementation today, if only to begin the education process. “EMV is not something you can just switch on,” says Boyd Taylor, District Manager in the San Francisco Bay Area, “It takes a lot of time and effort to roll it out and to make sure that not only does your system comply, but that you have a smooth customer experience.” Boyd has rolled out a number of different sites using Wayne’s iX Pay Secure system to upgrade dispensers to EMV as well as Mobile Payment, the next POS process that adds a layer of security as well as customer convenience.

Mobile payment has been around since 2012 but only now is it beginning to gain momentum. If you want to stay ahead of the game then this your next move. Electronic wallets and mobile payment are a convenience for the customer and one marketing tactic that is bringing in more business. Innovations like Apple Pay have increased consumer interest in contactless payment and show promising security for the future. Converting to EMV and mobile payments at the same time would set you well ahead of the game. Both upgrades speed up transaction time; a key factor for managing high volume sites and a complimentary benefit for customer satisfaction.

If a retailer has put in a new POS system within the last five years, they are more likely to make the least number of changes. However if someone has a system that is 15 years old, they’re likely to take a look at their overall POS ecosystem and replace it with a whole new system that can include contactless payment options. Regardless of your situation, the EMV upgrade is real and needs to occur before the 2020 deadline. If there is just one piece of info you take from this then let it be our recommendation to upgrade to mobile payment. This is a game changer. Mobile payment is the wave of the future; by upgrading today you’re positioning yourself for future growth.