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5 Steps to Prepare for the EMV Liability Shift


Are you ready for everything that comes next?

In April 2021, Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) will shift the liability for fraudulent and counterfeit credit card transactions to retail petroleum operators who fail to upgrade their forecourt dispensers to accept EMV chip transactions. But the liability shift is more than a deadline. It’s actually a starting line. It marks when you must be ready for everything that comes next. More bandwidth needs. More complex network challenges for your store(s). And more training for your employees.

If you’re not quite ready for all of those changes, follow these 5 steps to prepare for EMV adoption.

  1. Research Your Needs and Requirements

The EMV Liability shift isn’t just about a chip. It’s about your network. Your operations. And your customers. EMV transactions will require more bandwidth and your customers will expect quick service. To prepare, you need to understand the requirements, your specific needs, the anticipated costs, and available finance options.

To begin, collect information related to your current chargeback levels and any major oil brand requirements that may apply. Conduct a site survey to define forecourt connectivity cabling requirements (e.g. conduit availability) and review the age and reliability of your dispensers. Then, determine if you will need a full replacement or whether an upgrade kit can be used, along with any potential permit requirements (building, EPA, etc.) Also consider your customers’ expectations around contactless payment. Once you have sized the upgrade effort, you can research funding options. Be sure to investigate bundled deals, finance companies, manufacturer upgrade specials, and funds that may be available from major oil brands.

  1. Consider Your MNSP Options

With Verifone and Gilbarco replacing switches in anticipation of EMV adoption, you’re going to want to work with a certified Managed Network Service Provider (MNSP) to get the replacement (or upgrade) you need to make the transition easy, cost-effective and compliant. In fact, Verifone and Gilbarco require that you work with a certified MNSP, like Hughes, to complete your upgrade. You should select your MNSP before doing any other task. This will not only ensure compliance but make the entire adoption process more efficient. Your MNSP can also implement multi-factor access to support secure remote access (Point of Sale, or POS, helpdesk, back-office) and review your store’s cybersecurity requirements (e.g. PCI compliance).

  1. Develop Your Implementation Plan

Working with your MNSP, you can develop an implementation plan around any anticipated blackout dates (such as holidays) and based on technician availability. Since there is tremendous demand for technicians, you may experience delays due to market availability, which varies. The longer you wait to get started, the longer those delays may be. When building your timeline, also consider hardware/software availability. Once a schedule is set, be sure to plan for any store outages.

  1. Upgrade Internet Connection to the Store

Because EMV transactions use more data, your network may become more sensitive to latency, packet loss, and congestion. This can be compounded when EMV software updates are run over the network and when new dispensers support bandwidth-intensive video engagement. Consequently, before your implementation, consider upgrading your connectivity to the store and deploying cellular backup to avoid downtime.

  1. Once You Upgrade, Train Your Employees

When it’s time to implement, you will install the MNSP solution, as well as any new dispenser or POS hardware and software. With your upgrade complete, you’ll want to fully utilize all of the new POS features available to your customers and your operations. This requires taking time to train your employees on the new system. Doing so will also support your customers and help their transition to EMV go smoothly too!

Navigating the EMV Liability shift shouldn’t be a solo journey. So, plan to work closely with a certified MNSP to tailor a solution to best fit your needs and to meet your implementation schedule. Doing so means you’ll be well-positioned to beat the EMV deadline and be ready for everything that comes next.

To learn more about how Hughes can help you prepare for the Outdoor EMV Upgrade, visit our retail petroleum page.