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    Ups & Downs in C-store EMV Transition

    CSNews study finds only 35 percent of chains are now compliant at POS.

    NATIONAL REPORT — Fielded just before the Oct. 1 EMV liability shift deadline for point-of-sale (POS) transactions in-store, the 2015 Convenience Store News Technology Study asked c-store chain operators whether they had made the necessary upgrades to be EMV complaint.

    Retailers were not required by law to upgrade to an EMV-ready POS by Oct. 1, but convenience store retailers do need to upgrade their POS devices if they want to avoid responsibility for fraudulent or lost/stolen debit and credit card transactions in certain instances.

    The results from the study yielded both good and bad news for EMV, an acronym for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that originally created the security standard.  

    First, the good news. All c-store chain retailers responding to the study indicated they have at least begun the process of upgrading their in-store POS devices to be EMV compliant.

    On the negative side, however, only 35 percent of chains said they were EMV compliant at the time CSNews fielded the survey. It is certainly possible more retailers have upgraded to EMV in the time since. In addition, fraud may not be massive at some c-store chains, leading them to decide they can afford to wait before making EMV upgrades.

    The remaining 64.7 percent of chains said they were not compliant but had already started the upgrade process.

    When asked about their planned technology investments for 2015, nearly 43 percent of chain retailers expected to spend on replacing aging POS technology, ranking third on the list and proving in-store EMV upgrades are top of mind. This category ranked eighth last year.

    For more results from the 2015 Technology Study, including insights on mobile technology adoption, look in the December issue of Convenience Store News.

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