Mastercard extends EMV deadline at gas pumps, adds fraud protection

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In line with the other major card brands, Mastercard is extending its EMV liability shift at gas pumps to April 2021. It is also launching a data-driven fraud protection tool for fuel merchants who have not completed their upgrade to chip-card EMV pumps.

Mastercard's move to strengthen fraud protection at fuel pumps comes less than two weeks since Visa responded to merchant calls to delay the EMV conversion at gas pumps to a later date, mostly because of the revenue losses from coronavirus and health-related safety measures needed for pumps and inside of convenience stores. Shortly thereafter, American Express announced a delay for EMV at the fuel pumps.

Mastercard has extended its EMV liability shift from October 2020 to April 16, 2021. It marks the second extension major card brands have put in place for fuel pump operators, having initially established 2017 as the deadline year — a deadline that was already two years after EMV liability took hold at the retail merchant level.

Mastercard will provide issuing banks with enhanced data on high-risk fraud transactions at fuel merchants to inform their authorization decisions and stop fraud before it happens, the company said.

Mastercard's Safety Net and Fraud Rules Manager programs will be enhanced to aid merchants in their decision-making criteria, providing additional protection for their cardholders at fuel pumps.

Mastercard will also provide fuel merchants who experience high fraud with the company’s Merchant Fraud Insights to provide additional details into the fraudulent transactions and a more comprehensive view into the safety of the purchasing environment at their individual locations.

“Many fuel companies have made the shift to a safer and more secure EMV environment, and we applaud them for doing so," Kush Saxena, executive vice president for U.S. merchants and acceptance at Mastercard, said in a Monday press release. "However, we also recognize and respect the complexities to upgrade to safer and more secure EMV transactions at fuel dispensers over the next few months.”

The new program "provides a new and differentiated layer of protection, thus securing consumers and mitigating losses for all parties,” Saxena added.

Fraud has been migrating to fuel pumps at an accelerated pace, with 17% of all U.S. card-present fraud losses reported to Mastercard occurring through transactions at these merchant locations as of the fourth quarter 2019, the release stated.

Mastercard says it will also develop a compliance program for some fuel merchants who have experienced high fraud at their locations to ensure they have a remediation plan in place to pre-empt and mitigate fraudulent transactions at their locations.

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