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Less Than Half of Major Fuel Merchants Meet Extended EMV Deadline, According to New ACI Worldwide Data

COVID-19 pandemic continues to create major challenges for fuel merchants nationwide in meeting April liability shift deadline

New data from ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time digital payment software and solutions, shows that as of April 17, 2021 — the extended EMV liability shift deadline — less than half (48%) of fuel merchants will meet EMV automated fuel dispenser (AFD) compliance mandates. As of the extended deadline, the liability for fraud will now shift from card issuers to fuel merchants.

ACI surveyed fuel merchants that collectively represent 45,000 gas stations nationwide — including major oil companies, grocers and convenience stores. The data showed that only 50 percent of fuel merchants who were not fully implemented expect to be EMV compliant by the end of 2021.

“Although previously protected from fraud losses, merchants will now bear the brunt of fraud overnight,” said Debbie Guerra, executive vice president, ACI Worldwide. “While EMV compliance is a major undertaking, and one that requires a significant capital investment, there is no doubt that the pandemic also played a big role in some fuel merchants’ inability to meet the April deadline. With overall diminished resources due to the pandemic and slow testing and certification, which is typically done in person, merchants have certainly been challenged.”

The ACI research also showed fuel merchants’ increased interest in implementing important security and fraud prevention measures such as point-to-point encryption (52%) and tokenization (39%). In ACI’s July 2020 survey, 37 percent were considering point-to-point encryption and 26 percent were considering tokenization.

“Fortunately, for fuel merchants and their customers, the upgrades required for EMV at the dispenser will increase point-to-point encryption technology adoption. The additional bandwidth will allow merchants to secure all of their payments upfront,” Guerra continued.

Key Findings:

EMV readiness by April 17 deadline:

  • 48 percent of major fuel and convenience merchants have fully implemented EMV across all their gas stations.
  • 26 percent have more than three quarters of their fuel stations fully upgraded.
  • 22 percent currently have under half of their fuel stations fully upgraded.
  • 4 percent have between half and three quarters of their stations fully upgraded.

Expected completion of EMV compliance:

  • Of those that are not fully upgraded (52%):
    • 25 percent of major fuel and convenience merchants expect to be fully compliant by the second quarter of 2021.
    • An additional 25 percent of major fuel and convenience merchants expect to be fully compliant by the end of 2021.
    • 50 percent are unsure of when they will be fully compliant.

Fraud and security:

  • More (52%) fuel and convenience merchants are considering point-to-point encryption this year compared to last year (37%).
  • 39 percent are considering tokenization in 2021, an increase compared to 26 percent in 2020.

Digital payments and additional improvements:

  • 91 percent of fuel merchants plan to implement contactless payments in 2021, an increase compared to 85 percent that were planning to do so in 2020.
  • 78 percent are considering implementing mobile payment options in 2021, an increase compared to 70 percent in 2020.
  • 48 percent are evaluating how to integrate loyalty initiatives at the fuel dispenser, a drop compared to 67 percent that were considering it in 2020.

See the EMV Readiness Survey Infographic for more information.

About ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide is a global software company that provides mission-critical real-time payment solutions to corporations. Customers use our proven, scalable and secure solutions to process and manage digital payments, enable omni-commerce payments, present and process bill payments, and manage fraud and risk. We combine our global footprint with local presence to drive the real-time digital transformation of payments and commerce.

© Copyright ACI Worldwide, Inc. 2021

ACI, ACI Worldwide, ACI Payments, Inc., ACI Pay, Speedpay and all ACI product/solution names are trademarks or registered trademarks of ACI Worldwide, Inc., or one of its subsidiaries, in the United States, other countries or both. Other parties’ trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners.


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