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October 2020 is Around The Corner, Make Sure Your Business is Prepared For New Mandates.

Payment Securities are at the forefront of business needs. Banks are constantly updating and improving their technologies to keep their customers safe and reduce liability. EMV chips were mandated in the U.S. nearly 4-years ago for in-store purchases. Businesses had to adapt to this "new" form of payment or accept full-responsibility if a customer's information were to be stolen. Citgo and Landmark/Exxon are some of the more recent gas stations to come out and commit to improving their systems. Each company combined owns over 500 gas stations all requiring new systems to avoid liability issues with payment security standards council and protect their customers from types of fraud. Other businesses are executing their plans to comply with mandates, and we want to make sure that you are following through with your plan as well. 

New bank mandates have required merchants to add EMV readers at gas pumps by October of 2020. While that date is over a year away, changing these systems is no easy task especially if you own multiple locations with multiple pumps. Adding new pumps can take a lot of time and money. Estimations have said that new pumps with the proper technology can cost between 6,000 - 17,000 dollars. The electric lines that lead to these systems are located beneath concrete, and the people qualified to work on them are in limited supply. Couple that with a relatively short time-frame and that will send any business into a panic. Fortunately, replacing all your pumps is not the only option. There are numerous ways to meet regulations by next year and this is just a few to help your business accomplish its goals. 

  • If you are a franchise than the solution may seem a bit easier. In many franchises, the push to complete an overhaul like this is usually run by an HQ or a corporation and funded by them as well. This takes a lot of the pressure off of the individual owner's shoulders, but a majority of stations are individually owned so this may fall on deaf ears. 
  • You are in a Corporation: If you have incorporated than you have most likely worked out the financial aspect and received capital from investors. Many of these big decisions are not made by the individual owner. Instead, they are done in one big campaign decided by a board of directors. 
  • Use one secure pump: This is probably the least favorite as it renders all the other pumps useless unless you pay inside, but you could only have one pump with the proper EMV security measures installed for pay-at-the-pump purchases. You could also shut down all pay-at-the-pump systems and have customers pay inside. While this is an option, we recommend that you do not do it for very long if at all. 
  • Use Mobile pay: This may seem easier than tearing up your fore-court but make no mistake it takes many steps to get it right. When using mobile pay you have to implement the app, figure out payment methods, and make sure that it is all secure because after all, this is all about making sure payments are safe. 
  • EMV Payment Service: This is an idea that is gaining a lot of traction as October 2020 draws closer. This method involves having a plugin EMV module and payment service that you, the business owner, would have per-month for. 

These are a few alternatives to make sure that your business can remain up and running by next year. If you do decide to invest heavily and replace your systems just make sure that you are planning for the future. Gas pumps tend to last 10-15 years, but if technology and payment processing continues to advance than make sure your systems can handle that change. As mentioned before, this is a huge investment so be sure that you are set up for what the future brings, whether that is multi-step verification or encryption. Plan ahead for what is to come, and if you need some ideas of what types of payment methods may dominate the future market then Click Here

It all comes down to protecting yourself and the customer. Keeping your customer's safe and showing that your business cares about their financial well-being goes a long way. It makes the customer feel safe when they come to your store, and more than likely keeps them coming back.

You also owe it to yourself and your business. You work hard for the money you make and the image you create. Do not allow one bad situation to stain your reputation as a business. It is always best to err on the side of caution. Instead of waiting for the day when you have to say sorry, act now so you can protect your business and your customers. 

If you want to read more into the steps other gas stations are taking Click Here.  

Sources: Convenience Store News. Visa.com 

in Building Your Business, Featured, Industry News, C-Store Trends, EBT, Retailer