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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Banks underserve the underbanked - AFS providers step in

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

News

Industry Update

EMV push could force operators to nix pay-at-the-pump

GoPago on merchant acquisition roll

Busy month for the SCA

PCI SSC turns attention to ATM security

Features

What's in a positioning concept?

Research Rundown

ISOMetrics:
Signs of optimism in small business sector

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Passbook affirms bar code payments

How to reach Hispanics with prepaid

Views

Revolution underway in merchant underwriting

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Get ready for 21st century shopping

Rick Berry
ABC Mobile Pay Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
The song and dance of reputation building

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Avoid the price pitfall, sell on fairness

Steve Norell
US Merchant Services Inc.

Legal disputes: Head them off at the pass

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

New Products

Military grade mobile device

Juno T41
BlueStar Inc.

Digital loyalty has a spot

SpotOn
SpotOn

Inspiration

Own it, solve it, move on

Departments

10 Years ago in The Green Sheet

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

October 08, 2012  •  Issue 12:10:01

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EMV push could force operators to nix pay-at-the-pump

When Liz Concannon, Vice President of Corporate Sales for the ISO Petroleum Card Services, viewed the exhibition area of the September 2012 Pacific Oil Conference held in Reno, Nev., she saw an industry facing challenges.

The equipment manufacturers, terminal vendors and credit card service providers that filled the room gave the conference a feeling of prosperity, but Concannon believes tight margins and regulation hinder profits in the petroleum business, and changes in payment requirements will only exacerbate the difficulties.

"It is a tough market," she said in an interview following the show. "Petroleum is a tough nut to crack. Owning a gas station is not like owning a dry cleaner or an ice cream store. There are mandates, regulation, compliance and EPA issues attached to owning a gas station."

Petroleum's uncertain compliance future

There are approximately 160,000 gas stations in the United States (including alternative fueling operations such as those selling biodiesel). Concannon, who is a new member of the Petroleum Equipment Institute board, estimated that anywhere from 35 to 39 percent of those stations are independent operators who get by making very small margins on their sales.

Concannon's company attends approximately 32 tradeshows a year (she attends one a month) just to keep up with the rapid changes in the industry. She said changes in payment card acceptance are among the most difficult challenges independent gas stations face.

Independent station owners are just adjusting to what she calls the "debacle" of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) mandate. Concannon estimated only 25 percent of independent gas station owners have become PCI-compliant so far. Now operators are being asked to implement the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) standard for integrated circuit (chip) cards at their pumps.

"These operators are being asked to spend thousands of dollars on compliance when they are making only two cents per gallon," she said. "There is no simple solution for implementing EMV at an average independent gas station that has 8 pumps and pay-at-the-pump transactions."

Multiply the average 8 pumps per gas station by 160,000 U.S. stations and the need for new EMV compliant hardware becomes obvious. Concannon said terminal manufacturers may not be able to keep up with the demand. "When the PCI mandates came out, and stations needed to put key pads outside, the manufacturers couldn't make enough PIN pads to keep up with the need," she noted.

Liability is not a threat

Credit card companies intend to bring about the transition to EMV by shifting liability for card present fraud to merchants and operators whose payment terminals are not EMV-compliant by the card companies' deadline. For the petroleum industry that deadline will arrive in 2017.

Concannon doesn't see the liability shift as a significant threat to petroleum operators who, she believes, will be reluctant to invest in the new technology. "Everybody knows all you have to do to get a gas charge removed from your bill is dispute the outside transaction," she said. "Because the customers don't sign, the operator can't prove they were there. The operators still have 100 percent liability for that chargeback. EMV will not eliminate chargebacks."

Since EMV technology will be expensive to implement and the liability threat is not a change for operators, Concannon feels the EMV mandate and concurrent liability shift will make some operators stop pay-at-the-pump service and require people to go inside to pay where a signature or PIN can be required. She said the solution is a PIN-based card that protects both the customer and the operator from fraud.

For additional news stories, please visit www.greensheet.com and click on "Read the Entire Story" in the center column below the latest news story excerpt. This will take you to the full text of that story, followed by all other news stories posted online.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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