Gas stations have until 2017 to upgrade pumps for EMV chip-card acceptance, but first things first — the indoor point of sale at convenience stores at those stations were included in the October 2015 liability shift for merchants.

Payment processor Heartland Payment Systems and the Pinnacle Corp. are addressing EMV at the convenience stores through Pinnacle's Palm POS system for petroleum retailers. Pinnacle Corp. supplies automation software for convenience stores and fuel inventory management.

Lynch Oil of Burley, Idaho is upgrading its point-of-sale system with the Palm POS, making it the first petro retailer to use the EMV-enabled system at six Mr. Gas locations in southern Idaho, Heartland stated in a Nov. 12 press release.

The fully certified system is welcome news for convenience store operators, who have been under the gun migrate to EMV, said Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, a convenience retailers association dedicated to development of technology standards for the industry.

"We have lots of retailers who have made, and continue to make, significant investments in equipment upgrades, but cannot avoid the liability shift due to lack of certification," Taylor stated in the release. "The fact that our industry has but one fully-certified solution one month after the indoor liability shift and 23 months before Automated Fuel Dispensers shift, shows how inadequately implementation was planned for our market."

Merchants unable to accept EMV transactions after Oct. 1 became liable for any counterfeit card fraud taking place at their businesses, though the migration has been slower than expected.

Despite the late specifications and "convoluted certification process," convenience retailers are pleased to see Heartland and Pinnacle delivering a solution, Taylor said.

By incorporating EMV-enabled terminals, convenience store owners will benefit because customers will view their location as a safe place to do business, said Michael Lawler, president of the strategic markets group for Heartland.

"Those that do implement an EMV POS solution, like Lynch Oil, may benefit from a reduction in card fraud, decreased requests for copies in relation to chargebacks, fewer disputes and the opportunity to update terminals for other capabilities like Near Field Communication contactless acceptance,” Lawler stated in the release.

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