While more c-store owners upgrade to EMV payment terminals, certification delays have become a significant hurdle to accepting chip cards.
As a refresher, following the October 2015 liability shift, any c-store owner, retailer, or merchant not using a chip card POS terminal is now liable for any in-store fraud. That covers any purchases made using counterfeit credit cards.
*It’s worth noting fuel dispensers still have until October 2017 to switch over to chip-enabled terminals before they wind up on the wrong side of the liability shift.
After the October 2015 EMV liability shift, many business owners purchased new POS devices to allow them to process chip cards and were surprised to learn that that they couldn’t actually use the chip card terminals until they were certified. Getting a payment terminal certified to accept chip card payments can be a lengthy complicated process as it generally involves a heavy amount of testing to ensure the terminal passes the security standards as designated by EMVCo.
Due to a combination of high demand for chip card terminal certification and the time-consuming nature of the process, bottlenecks have ensued and lead to a lot of frustration for merchants. That’s understandable, because if you’ve already spent the money to purchase a brand new POS that accepts chip cards, you’d probably expect it to pretty much work straight out of the box.
The bigger issue is that merchants who wait for their chip card terminals to be certified are still on the hook for fraudulent transactions as a result of the liability shift. That has lead to a trend of many stores having chip card terminals but not able to allow customers to use the more secure functionality.
In response, major card brands have recognized the challenges EMV certification has placed on merchants and the marketplace. As potential remedies, both Visa and MasterCard recently announced initiatives— including simplifying the process and adding more support and resources— to speed up EMV terminal certification so chip card readers can be enabled a lot faster.
Gilbarco Veeder-Root has been a leading participant in the EMV Migration Forum and has worked with Visa and MasterCard on options to reduce the EMV certification complexity. With only around 40 to 50 percent of retailers capable of accepting chip cards, the wave of retailers that will need to become EMV compliant is large. To stall on getting your c-store’s POS system up to EMV standard could mean longer wait lines, additional costs, and larger fraud risks despite efforts to decrease wait times.
In the meantime, it’s important for retailers to continue their plans on upgrading equipment. Though the EMV certification process may be frustrating, installing EMV capable equipment can also be time-consuming and should be done as early as possible. If you’re interested in getting ahead of the game and investing in new EMV equipment or if you simply just want to learn more about EMV all-together, click here.