You're in the C-store business, so you're certainly aware of the looming EMV deadline. On the off chance you're not, EMV is the Europay, MasterCard, Visa protocol that introduced chip technology to credit and debit cards. It is seen as the gold standard for credit and debit card transactions, and like other retailers, more and more C-stores and gas stations are converting their pay-at-the-pump technology and in-store POS systems to EMV.
The deadline to do so has been pushed back. Previously, C-store and gas station operators had until October 1, 2020, to upgrade their technology to EMV. But, due to the pandemic, that deadline was extended to April 17, 2021. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, some 800,000 pumps needed to be upgraded by the original October deadline. That number has certainly dropped, but many stores have yet to take this necessary step. Is yours one of them? Here's why you should upgrade to EMV now.
EMV reduces fraud
The C-store industry, especially at the gas pump, has been plagued with fraud. The chip is recognized by industry experts and consumers alike as being fraud-resistant. Back in 2018, Visa reported it had seen an 80% reduction in fraud losses because of EMV technology. Criminals have already devised ways to use the "stripe" to their advantage, skimming being one of the most prevalent scams. EMV technology prevents that.
It protects your business
You won't be liable for fraud in the unlikely event it happens. Before Oct. 1, 2015, the financial institution that issued the card took the hit for fraud. But after that, rules changed to make the "weakest link" in the transaction chain liable for that cost. That's the gas pump. EMV technology protects your business by preventing fraud from happening in the first place.
It'll be easier to accept other types of payments in the future
Older POS systems not only don't take chip payments, but they won't take Apple Pay and Mobile Wallet payments, either. Consumers are increasingly choosing those technologies and businesses that don't accept them will lose customers to those that will.
Delays can lead to more delays
Many store owners breathed a sigh of relief when the deadline was extended, but now, April is coming up fast. Not only does the equipment itself take awhile to order and arrive, but the service providers and installers will be increasingly busy with last-minute orders as the deadline gets closer. Wait too much longer and you could find yourself without the EMV readers you need when April 17, 2021 passes. Also, you'll need time to coordinate with your credit card processors to make sure your new equipment is working, has all the bugs ironed out, and processes those transactions seamlessly.
You can find ways to offset the costs
Yes, you'll incur upfront costs when you upgrade your equipment. One way to offset those costs is to institute a loyalty program, if you haven't done so already. You'll see an uptick in repeat business, more loyal customers, increased purchases and so many more benefits that boost your bottom line. It's a great strategy to earn more revenue anytime, but especially when you're making costly upgrades to your technology.
At Tecmark, we are passionate about helping C-store owners boost their bottom lines through robust loyalty programs that engage their customers and employees. Contact us today to learn more.