The EMV liability shift for fuel dispensers may still be two years away, but some are not waiting to get their EMV-compliant products and services installed in convenience stores and fuel stations.
Gas Pos launched a service Wednesday that puts EMV-compliant card readers in fuel dispensers and in stores, all of which are connected to a fuel controller. The North Little Rock, Ark.-based company’s proposition is that it can help merchants face the EMV petroleum liability shift at less cost than its competitors.
Upgrade costs for such merchants can start at $25,000 and higher, Gas Pos says, with conventional EMV updates and installation costs. Gas Pos says it will install EMV-compliant card readers in pumps and in stores, along with a fuel controller and point-of-sale equipment at no cost for the equipment to the retailer. In addition to payments, the Gas Pos system includes back-office functions for managing inventory, pricing, and setting fuel prices.
It charges a $150 fee per month for each pump card reader and a flat rate for payment card transactions. The processing rate, which often is about 3%, says Josh Smith, Gas Pos founder and chief executive, may be affected by the average ticket or number of gallons sold. A smaller location with a lot of $5 and $10 average tickets may pay a higher fee than a merchant with many $300 fill ups, he says. Smith would not identify the company that makes its hardware.
With 70% of U.S. gas stations owned by a single person, Smith says owners often don’t have the cash to complete EMV upgrades. Complicating the update is the limited number of qualified installers.
Smith says installation takes about four hours for the POS system. The card readers at the pumps and in the store accept all branded payment cards, fleet cards, and mobile payments. At the pumps, near-field communication technology is built into the screens, he says.
Typical merchant contracts are for 60 months, Smith says, adding that the usable life of a POS system generally is between three and five years. All Gas Pos equipment carries a warranty, and the company targets expedited fixes as problems arise, Smith says.