The EMV Upgrade Decision: What you need to know

The EMV Upgrade Decision: What you need to know

We’re less than two years away from the October 2017 EMV liability shift for fuel dispensers, and most large convenience store retailers are well into the planning and deployment phases of upgrading their forecourts with EMV capable equipment.  These early-movers understand that the impact of missing the deadline might be far greater than just the risk of additional fraud liability.

For many other retailers, however, questions still loom about what factors they should consider when making decisions around EMV upgrades.  I thought it would be valuable to touch on some of the basic questions and what retailers should keep in mind.

Why should I upgrade my forecourt for EMV?

  • Reduce the risk of increased fraud liability – The dollar value of the liability shift for fraudulent transactions is certainly a big incentive for retailers to adopt EMV, but the fraud impact is likely going to increase over the next couple years at sites that delay their upgrades as fraudsters continue to shift their focus to unprotected sites.  Several industry leaders shared their thoughts on the liability shift at Gilbarco’s 2015 Retail Technology Conference.  Click here to hear their views. 
  • Avoid potential loss of fuel volume and c-store sales – As consumers become more familiar with EMV transactions at larger retailers, they are going to start equating that EMV transaction with better security.  Security-minded consumers may even start to gravitate away from retail locations that aren’t able to accept their chip cards.
  • Attract new customers – Upgrading for EMV gives retailers the opportunity to support new forecourt technologies like media applications at the dispenser and contactless payments that can improve their businesses and drive more traffic to their sites.   
  • Reduce your susceptibility to skimming attacks – The card readers and PCI-compliant PIN pads that come standard with EMV capable terminals support encryption of the cardholders’ data within the dispenser payment electronics, so skimming devices placed inside the dispenser would only capture useless data, not your customers’ valuable information.

How should I approach my dispenser upgrades for EMV?

  • Improve your site image by replacing older dispensers – A consumer survey by market research firm Morpace reported that “95% [of consumers] said stores’ external appearance influences their decisions about where to shop.” New dispensers can certainly improve the appearance of your site, and they can also help you avoid ongoing maintenance costs. 
  • Save on replacement costs by retrofitting newer dispensers – Dispensers that have been in the field less than 8-10 years are better candidates to receive EMV payment retrofit kits.

When should I begin my forecourt upgrades?

  • Upgrade early to avoid potential industry constraints – As we get into late 2016 and 2017, increased demands on dispenser manufacturers and service contractors could lead to extended lead times on equipment and installation.  Those who wait to begin their forecourt EMV upgrades could risk missing the liability shift deadline.   

Additional Information:

For additional resources on the EMV migration to the U.S. and its impact on our industry, please see:

  1. Gilbarco’s EMV informational web-page
  2. Previous Gilbarco blog posts on EMV:
  3. Learn about opportunities to create an ROI from the EMV Migration
  4. EMV Migration Forum – Knowledge Center