Pandemic or no, card companies will not extend Outdoor EMV deadline for c- and g-stores
With the COVID-19 pandemic (rightfully) dominating the global news cycle, you might have missed a specific piece of news that greatly impacts fuel and convenience retailers. Despite all the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, leading credit card companies do not plan to extend what’s commonly known as the “Outdoor EMV” deadline.
This deadline is based on the liability shift for retailers who fail to implement Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) chip readers into their fuel pumps. The current deadline — October 1, 2020 — remains in effect.
Retailer organizations, including the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), had formally requested an extension to the deadline. Visa officially denied the request on April 6, however, stating that it was still too soon to determine whether a delay would be necessary.
With the deadline now less than six months away, fuel retailers face an uphill battle to perform upgrades with increasingly limited resources and a lack of skilled technicians. The COVID-19 outbreak only promises to create longer backlogs for upgrades to take place. Retail businesses will find they are at risk of fraud, charge-back fees and potential fines if they fail to meet the deadline.
For those feeling the pressure, don’t panic. There’s still time, with solid planning and smart decision-making. Retailers that find themselves still needing to upgrade should:
- Engage with experienced vendors that have performed upgrades before.
- Make sure all underlying technology infrastructure (network, software, security protocols) is ready to support Outdoor EMV.
- Reach out to industry peers. Many fuel pumps already support Outdoor EMV, so leverage industry best-practices to streamline deployment.
No retailer wants to add anything else to their business must-do list at a time like this. There are compelling reasons, however, to invest in Outdoor EMV, even without a deadline. Having one just adds some urgency. No worries, you’ve got this.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should the credit card industry delay the Outdoor EMV deadline in light of the COVID-19 outbreak? Are the benefits of implementing the technology sufficient reason for retailers to take the necessary steps to be ready to go by Oct. 1?