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    Coulson Oil Chairman Details EMV Expense

    With $20K per-pump upgrades, c-stores may “duct tape card slots.”

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Now that the EMV — an acronym for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that originally created the security standard — liability shift guidelines for in-store point-of-sale transactions has passed, convenience store retailers must prepare for a more costly upgrade to forecourt fuel dispensers.

    The forecourt EMV upgrades — whose liability shift deadline will occur Oct. 1, 2017 — will be so costly that “some stations are just going to duct tape the card slots on the old machines and say come inside and pay,” Mike Coulson, chairman of Coulson Oil Co. Inc., said at Little Rock Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon on March 22. “But it’s not very convenient for the customers.”

    According to Arkansas Business, if a fuel dispenser needs to be replaced, the price tag is approximately $20,000. Therefore, a gas station with eight pumps will force a c-store operator to incur costs totaling $160,000. Coulson stated at the luncheon that most pumps more than 10 years old need to be completely replaced because they need a new card reader.

    EMV liability shift guidelines require credit cards and debit cards to have a chip and were set forth by major credit purveyors as a way to combat fraud. Before the forecourt EMV liability shift deadline at the forecourt takes place, a similar guideline for ATMs will occur on Oct. 1 of this year.

    EMV liability shift deadlines do not mean c-store retailers are required by law to upgrade card readers. However, if a customer uses a chip card at a non-EMV reader following the deadline date and fraud occurs, the c-store operator could be held financially responsible for the fraudulent transaction.

    North Little Rock, Ark.-based Coulson Oil Co. Inc. is the operator of Road Runner stores. It also provides fuel products and service support to more than 200 convenience stores in Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

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