Amex joins Visa in postponing U.S. gas EMV migration

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American Express will delay the EMV fraud liability shift due to complications from the coronavirus, following reports that Visa has made a similar concession.

Amex-accepting gas stations in the U.S. will now have until April 16, 2021 to migrate their fuel pumps to EMV or face liability for card payment fraud, Amex's press office said in an email to PaymentsSource on Tuesday. The previous Amex deadline was Oct. 17. Visa's new deadline is April 17, 2021, though Visa has not publicly commented on news that's been widely reported in the media. Mastercard and Discover have not yet moved their deadlines, though the four largest U.S. card brands often move in concert on cross-card payment standards.

Gas stations were already facing a difficult EMV migration before the coronavirus pandemic, due to the complications and expense of changing petroleum point of sale terminals to accept EMV chip cards.

The coronavirus has hurt gas station and convenience store revenue streams, and lockdowns have also made it harder for IT staff to travel to stations to upgrade terminals and test EMV acceptance technology.

There have been additional disruptions to supply chains that have also hindered technology upgrades at gas stations, causing merchant groups to lobby for an EMV extension.

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