The Liability Shift for Outside Payment Fraud at Gas Stations is Looming

Your equipment is delayed, and your tech is swamped.

For some petroleum marketers, a glimmer of hope exists in their mind that the April 17, 2021 Outdoor EMV liability shift will be delayed one more time. After all, our country remains in the midst of a pandemic- and more recently, extreme winter weather has hit even the most temperate of climates.

Zach Pastko, Senior Consultant at W. Capra Consulting Group, has pushed those who plan to make sites Outdoor EMV capable to persevere towards that goal, even if mid-April is missed.  “If your sites become compliant by May 18th, for instance, your sites may have seen a huge uptick in fraud for a month that you may be paying for, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still adopt EMV and save your bottom line from those extra fraud costs going forward,” Pastko advised. 

Which sites?  When?

If your sites cover a wide geographic footprint, and you have fraud data on those sites for the last few years, you should focus on converting those sites with the most fraud first.  “Solely counting the total number of sites that can process Outdoor EMV transactions, versus focusing on those sites with the most fraud, is a partially informed approach,” opined Pastko.  “Getting sites with significant fraud converted should be the priority.”

Even more boldly, there may be some sites that you choose to monitor through 2021 without focusing on a specific conversion date.  “If you have a site in a low fraud geography that has had minimal fraud in the last year, it can be difficult to justify the investment in this economic environment,” Pastko added.  “However, you must understand the risk that comes with these decisions.  Consult with your brand representative to understand how they may be enforcing Outdoor EMV.”  Putting off Outdoor EMV enablement does not mean losing sight of other site technology.  Make sure your POS and pump software remain updated and continue to progress towards other means of protecting consumer information, like point-to-point encryption.

There is an ongoing pandemic.

While many still work from home or are driving a lot less, maintaining a steady flow of customers remains the top priority for all petroleum marketers and petroleum sites; prospects of meeting the Outdoor EMV liability shift may be a lower priority.  In line with that, some distributors are choosing to delay/postpone Outdoor EMV compliance indefinitely.  “It’s important to look holistically at the myriad programs and projects that you are trying to undertake; W. Capra always works to help clients be more forward thinking rather than tackling projects in silos.   There are efficiencies that can be gained with any hardware or software upgrade, especially with a project as intensive as becoming Outdoor EMV compliant,” Pastko said.

Zach Pastko is dedicated to assisting W. Capra clients with Outdoor EMV readiness and Petroleum Loyalty Program Design/Operations.

For further discussion, contact Zach Pastko at zpastko@wcapra.com.

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