A friend of mine works with an ISO that has a lot of gas stations in the merchant portfolio. He speaks so highly of the ISO that I'm thinking of switching over to work with them. But I've only boarded five merchants so far: two mom-and-pop markets, one high-end consignment store and two thrift shops. I've never talked with a gas station owner about processing. Plus, wasn't there supposed to be an EMV liability shift for fuel and c-store operators this month? With that big change, things might be chaotic at the gas stations right now. Maybe it's the wrong time to make a switch.
Ramona Diaz, Merchant Level Salesperson
Due to disruptions in the work force and supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EMV liability shift for petroleum retailers was postponed by all four major card brands (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover). The deadline was moved from October 2020 to April 2021. After that, retailers whose automatic fuel dispensers are not EMV-compliant will be liable for the costs incurred by fraudulent transactions at their pumps. According to a recent study by ACI Worldwide, 33 percent of petroleum retailers will not be able to meet the deadline; however, 97 percent of respondents in the study expect to be compliant by year-end 2021.
While conversion to EMV is causing disruption, that doesn't necessarily mean now is not a good time to focus on that vertical. Your solution might be just what they need to make a seamless conversion. Study the petroleum and convenience store sphere, set up a few information-gathering interviews with willing retailers, and see if your friend will mentor you. Also, study the differences between the ISO you work with and the one recommended by your friend. What are the pros and cons of each? Once you research thoroughly, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether you should make a move.
Best of luck to you!
Do you do business with petroleum and c-store retailers? Would you recommend someone enter this vertical now? And what about other developments and trends in payments? Send your questions and views to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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