Petroleum retailers can benefit from the EMV delay as long as they understand the associated risks.

Card Issuers have given petroleum retailers a brief reprieve in upgrading their forecourts. This is good news, if you take advantage of it. You can make the most of the EMV compliance delay for automated fuel dispensers by doing these 10 things.

Do – Proceed with EMV completion on the inside
The deadline postponement is ONLY for automated fueling dispensers. The liability shift for inside sales has not changed. Completing EMV processing inside will simplify conversion testing as well as improve consumer acceptance at the dispenser.

Do – Consider additional POS and technology changes 
In most cases, a site’s POS system may require a software upgrade, new payment terminals and devices, or even total replacement. Although this is a costly issue, use it as an opportunity to improve, be it retail operations, foodservice or employee productivity. If you must schedule a tech visit for an upgrade, maximize the trip with an improved application update. If you are receiving an upgrade, take advantage of additional features in the release that will benefit your operations.

Do – Budget well and ensure finances are available
Everyone realizes this is going to be a major expense. On the bright side, we have some more time to allocate or add to the budget. In addition, many major oil companies have provided economic benefits for their dealers, and most leasing companies have special offers for EMV equipment upgrades.

Do – Set a completion date and create a good project plan with scheduled tasks
Set a target completion date well before the deadline. Create a project plan that identifies each task. Do not underestimate the importance of a good plan. Although you don’t need PMP certification or to be an agile scrum master, you may want to get some experienced help in developing the plan. Once developed, the project’s progress needs to be reviewed regularly with all involved parties.

Do – Conduct a thorough review of your upgrade plan, including forecourt, POS, electronic payment server and network providers, complete with process steps required.
Planning is essential to any project. The difficulty with an EMV conversion is the number of third parties that must be involved. These include any oil company brand or network, POS vendors and service companies, forecourt vendors and service companies, and site prep contractors.
All third parties will have a different set of priorities that may or may not align with your schedule. This can result in delays in any or all of the following areas: certification of POS solution, equipment production scheduling, service scheduling and permits for site prep. A solid plan will help minimize costly delays.

Do – Get commitments from your vendors and make them accountable
Work with all resources, both internal and third party vendors. Share the project plan and get commitments for completing scheduled tasks.

Do – Educate your staff
Store personnel are your primary contacts with your customer. As such, they need to understand the changes that will take place. With many retailers in other channels already accepting EMV payments, the task of educating your customers is now much easier. However, there are nuances to each payment device and store personnel will need to understand how to help customers.

Do – Search out advice from others even if they are your competitors
You may not be on a daily communication schedule with other retailers in your area, but you may want to take the opportunity to open a dialogue. Other advice to seek could be industry user or share groups. Nothing beats a brainstorming session with your peers.

Do – Stay Informed on any updates and technical advances on payment systems
Payment systems will continue to emerge. Near Field Communication (NFC) and internet payments made from your car are just some of the new technologies that are gaining acceptance. Don’t lock yourself out of these possible and probable payment technologies.

Do – Expect future technology advancements
You may find that you are required to make several physical changes to your store infrastructure. If you must invest in site prep, make sure you allow for more power, more data, and more physical security.

These are a few steps that can keep you ahead of the curve. It just takes a little foresight and planning to come out on top. Stay tuned for the Don’ts of the delay that can set you behind.