Dreading Data Security

Retailers await yet another set of mandates with EMV, expressing concern over additional cost

By
Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator

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Though Dale Williams is ready to implement EMV, or the latest round of data-security mandates ordered by the major credit cards, he’s not looking forward to it.

“It’s not a cheap date,” says Williams, director of information technology and retail operations for the 65-store Walters-Dimmick Petroleum, Marshall, Mich.

The company began preparing its pumps for the latest mandates back in 2008 as it worked to comply with Visa and MasterCard’s payment card industry (PCI) standards, which went into effect a couple of years ago. It made certain the pumps it was upgrading could handle the EMV (also known as Europay MasterCard Visa) additions as those deadlines approach.

Compliance deadlines for the smart-chip technology that EMV entails are Oct. 1, 2015, for in-store point-of-sale (POS); Oct. 1, 2016, for ATMs; and Oct. 1, 2017, for fuel dispensers.

Once those deadlines pass, fraud liability will shift from the card brand to the issuing bank, which in turn flows back to the retailer.

While those preliminary steps were made, like many retailers, Williams is holding off on making the EMV upgrades until the deadlines get closer.

“We’re updating card readers as we need to repair or upgrade them, but we’re not jumping fully into the expense side until closer to the deadlines,” he says. “Who knows? Deadlines may get pushed back. … Things may change.”

That theory may be shared by other retailers. One Texas operator, who asked to remain anonymous, says he was considering updating in-store readers but simply opting out of accepting certain payment options at the pump.

Either way, suppliers are set for the change. “Wayne is ready for new payment capabilities like EMV,” says Tim Weston, senior product manager of payment solutions for Austin, Texas-based Wayne, a pump and POS manufacturer. “We build our products on a modular platform that can be easily and cost-effectively updated to support this new functionality ... and [encourage retailers] to upgrade when the time is right.”

What Is EMV?

For retailers still coming to grips with the upcoming deadlines, Michael Tyler, senior marketing director for petroleum, VeriFone Inc., Clearwater, Fla., calls EMV a global security standard. Adopted in Europe and Canada, it uses smart-chip technology that involves personal identification number (PIN) pads and the register or in-pump POS. EMV consists of both hardware and software components.

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