In recent months, there has obviously been a much greater emphasis on adoption of EMV payments by both merchants and consumers. The results so far have been mixed, at least in terms of actually getting people to use this payment method as much as they did traditional credit card swiping back before the liability shift went into effect. But experts say that a big reason for this is that it's really only been tier-one merchants who made the switch, because that was who was required to do it by payment processing companies.
In the near future, though, there will also be a similar liability shift for gas stations (coming in October 2017), and to that end manufacturers are now rolling out EMV-enabled fuel pumps to make this transition as quickly and easily as possible, according to a report from Gilbarco Veeder-Root. The company, one of world's the leading fuel pump manufacturers, recently unveiled its FlexPay IV next-gen fuel pump, complete with not only EMV payment options, but also near-field communications capabilities that allow for the use of platforms like Apple Pay and Android Pay.
In addition to being able to accept EMV and NFC payments, these pumps will also come with encryption to further protect even the simplest swipe-payment transaction and the ability to scan barcodes. They can be updated to meet future regulatory changes as well, the report said. In addition, like many fuel pumps these days, the FlexPay IV will also contain a small screen that plays news, weather, and sports updates, but also gives companies the ability to advertise their products or services. Gilbarco is partnering with the media company Verifone, which runs the popular Pump Media platform, to round out that side of the equation.
"EMV acceptance at the fuel dispenser is top of mind among gas stations and convenience stores, as the EMV liability shift is less than a year and a half away for this industry," said Jennifer Miles, president of Verifone, North America. "Through this partnership, Verifone and Gilbarco are able to help retailers not only meet payments and regulatory needs in an increasingly complex ecosystem, but also enhance the consumer experience. Because FlexPay IV is a commerce-enabled device, merchants will get much more from their investment than EMV payment acceptance."
What does this mean for businesses and consumers?
While this is likely to be one of many EMV-enabled fuel pumps to be introduced between now and autumn 2017, the fact is that any efforts to continue normalizing use of these payments, for any reason, reduces the risk for everyone involved. Consumers become less likely to have their credit or debit information stolen, stores will have less fraud to deal with, and payment processors won't have as many chargebacks on their books. In addition, other innovations coming into the EMV field, such as faster transaction times, could further help to push adoption rates among both retailers, regardless of their size, and consumers.