As the April 2021 credit card fraud liability shift approaches, fuel sites that have not begun their EMV upgrades need to start the process and get retrofit or replacement equipment ordered. It is important to think of this as a true investment that helps maintain the resale value of the property while presenting a secure spot for customers to transact business — rather than another burdensome expense.
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The first step is to complete a site survey in collaboration with a fueling equipment distributor or technician. The site survey will reveal the deficiencies that need to be addressed for the fuel site’s contact payment technology to be EMV compliant.
But there are other operational improvements to consider — as needed to facilitate EMV transactions or to enhance the customer experience. If these improvements are completed in conjunction with EMV upgrades, equipment acquisition and installation efforts may be able to be streamlined. With that in mind, here are 5 equipment considerations — beyond contact payment technology — that should be on fuel marketers’ radars as part of their outdoor EMV initiatives.
One dispenser manufacturer reports that dispensers in operation for more than 8 years have higher maintenance costs (labor and parts). Also, modern dispensers are a key to creating an inviting fuel site experience and providing customers with a competitive selection of fuel choices. As such, it may be worth considering updating the dispenser even if pumps qualify for retrofits.
2. Site connectivity.
High-speed data throughput is required for EMV transactions. Therefore sufficient TCP/IP connectivity is needed. Thankfully, many EMV upgrade solutions do not require the wiring in the ground to be dug up and replaced.
Most fuel sites will need to upgrade their payment software in their EPS or POS system. In an EMV survey conducted earlier this year by Conexxus, almost 64% of stations cited a lack of software as a reason why they had not completed deployment of EMV upgrades. Sometimes the software upgrades require an in-person installation. Other times the upgrades may be completed remotely.
4. Contactless payment technology.
Amid the concerns that COVID-19 has prompted about decreasing touchpoints, more and more stations are implementing contactless EMV payment technologies at the dispenser. Upgrading to contactless payment technology in conjunction with other EMV upgrades can contribute to more efficient implementation.
5. Media and user experience platforms.
As the primary customer interface on the forecourt, dispensers represent a significant opportunity for engaging with consumers and cross-selling promotions through media. The latest advancements in user experience platforms provide custom, personalized experiences that can present highly targeted messages to drive sales and increase customer loyalty. Investments in these types of dispenser technologies also help enhance a station’s brand image.
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