The deadline for shifting the EMV liability at the pump has been pushed back to April, and that may be a good thing considering that the overwhelming majority of convenience and gas retailers are not prepared for the move.
According to a recent Conexxus survey, only 15 percent of fuel retailers, fuel distributors, wholesalers and major oil firms have fully deployed EMV-compliant payment systems at their fuel pumps.
The new research follows a 2019 Conexxus EMV survey, which found the vast majority of sites were fully in-store EMV operational (86 percent), while only 14 percent of sites were fully EMV operational on the forecourt. Conexxus shortened the 2020 survey to focus only on outdoor EMV, including contact and contactless payment, according to NACS.
As Convenience Store News previously reported, the major financial companies agreed to delay the compliance deadline from October 2020 to April 2021. However, the Conexxus survey took place from February 27 to March 3, prior to the delay announcement.
In the recent survey, a little more than half of the respondents said they had no sites with EMV deployed at their pumps, down from 70 percent in the 2019 survey. Among gas stations that said they haven’t implemented outdoor EMV, 89 percent said they intended to adopt it, while 10 percent of respondents said they were still undecided. All respondents in the undecided group were owners/operators with 10 or fewer stores, NACS noted.
Cost was cited by 60 percent of this year's respondents as the top reason for the lag in upgrading the automated fueling dispensers. This is compared to 43 percent who pointed to it as the top reason last year.
In addition, respondents who said the risk of upgrading didn’t justify the cost fell to zero, a marked improvement over the 43 percent of respondents in the 2019 survey.
As NACS pointed out, during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have shown a willingness to use contactless payments, and the latest Conexxus survey found strong support among owners/operators for contactless card payments at the pump, particularly after the coronavirus hit the United States.
Among survey respondents who responded after COVID-19 hit, 74 percent said they have or plan to implement contactless EMV at the pump. This compares with 51 percent of respondents who responded before COVID-19 hit.