Retail Groups Request Delay of EMV Deadline

NACS and other associations ask for an extension amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Photograph: Shutterstock

ALEXANDRIA, Va. NACS and other fuel retail associations sent letters to the four major card networks asking for a delay to the October 2020 EMV outdoor liability shift deadline for fuel dispensers due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our retailers’ top priority at this time is providing fuel and other products to the Americans who need it most and keeping its employees and customers safe and healthy. Given the significant impediments to many retailers getting automated fuel dispensers (AFDs) and appropriate software that accept EMV payments developed, tested, certified and installed, we respectfully request that you delay the AFD liability shift and set a new, achievable date for that transition once the current crisis has abated,” the letters said.

Other retail and fuel groups behind the letters include the Merchant Advisory Group, Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), NATSO and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA).

States that have declared an emergency and limited business operations have designated c-stores and gas stations as essential businesses that must continue operating through the crisis, the letters said. First responders, healthcare and medical professionals, delivery workers, truck drivers and other essential personnel need gas stations to continue working.

Meeting the EMV deadline was already challenging before this crisis, according to the letters, due to difficulty in acquiring hardware, certified software and available technicians. “These challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting disruption in the workforce and supply chain,” the letters said.

The letters go into detail about exactly how the pandemic has affected retailers’ ability to migrate to outside EMV. Shelter-in-place orders and social distancing policies are preventing technicians from traveling to sites or even working at all. The country’s supply chain has been disrupted as factories face reduced schedules or closures. AFD installation requires local governments to schedule inspections and provide permits as necessary and the pandemic has delayed this process, with no resolution in sight.

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