Visa Inc. has informed petroleum retailers that it will delay its planned EMV fuel-pump liability shift set for October until April 17, 2021, the convenience-store trade group NACS disclosed Friday.
“The network’s delay was in response to letters NACS sent on behalf of its retail members to the four global networks requesting a delay of the October deadline, given the extreme disruption to the workforce and supply chain due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Alexandria, Va.-based NACS said in a news release.
A spokesperson for Visa, the biggest card network, did not immediately respond to a request from Digital Transactions News for confirmation. Digital Transactions News also has not yet received responses from Mastercard Inc., Discover Financial Services, and American Express Co. to questions regarding any changes in their fuel-pump plans, which have had similar dates.
Under the liability shifts, fuel retailers, not card issuers, will be financially responsible for counterfeit fraud if their automated fuel dispensers can’t read a credit or debit card’s EMV chip and has to resort to reading the card’s magnetic stripe. Mag stripes are far more vulnerable to counterfeiting, and researchers say fraudsters have been hitting gas stations hard now that most other retailers have installed EMV point-of-sale terminals.
The NACS release links to a letter NACS and four other trade groups sent to a Visa executive in early April in response to what they said was Visa’s denial of their recent request for a postponement. “Since we first wrote you, conditions have grown far worse,” the letter says, citing the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic’s disruption to the economy. “Retailers have reported delays in equipment, increasing lead times, and lack of technician availability. The bottom line is many businesses are finding it impossible for them to meet the approaching fall deadline.”
The retailers didn’t get everting they wanted. The letter asked that a new liability-shift date be set “once this crisis has passed.” Instead, Visa responded with the April 2021 date.
Still, NACS expressed thanks to Visa. “The EMV delay comes at a time when convenience stores’ main objective is keeping stores open to meet the essential needs of their customers and communities,” Anna Ready Blom, NACS director of government relations, said in a statement. “We are glad to see Visa recognize the unequivocal economic impact coronavirus is having on businesses, and we hope the other major networks will follow suit.”