This post first appeared at Cybera.com
By Paul Melton
If you haven’t yet completed your Outdoor EMV (OEMV) initiatives, take note: There’s a common trend among those with Gilbarco and Verifone POS systems, and it involves your network! Ignoring this important step could lead to service disruption, an elongated time to become fully OEMV-compliant, and major headaches for your business.
With the 2021 Outdoor EMV liability shift deadline less than 12 months away, we’re seeing some interesting trends across the fuel retail industry. Although a large number of sites are still not fully compliant, there’s both good news and bad news on the horizon.
The good news is most operators seem to be acting with a greater sense of urgency as we approach the deadline. The bad news is we also see some lingering confusion about what exactly is required.
In particular, there’s a common misconception that once you’ve updated your fuel dispensers, you’re done with OEMV. But that’s only one part of the equation. You also need to update your POS network systems. Here’s why…
You Must Have a Certified MNSP Solution
Gilbarco and Verifone have issued strict requirements for network communications that involve remote access and enhanced security to support POS systems within your network architecture. Yes, this is mandatory to support critical functions involved in OEMV.
To meet these requirements, you must use a certified Managed Network Service Provider (MNSP) solution. If you don’t, you simply will not be OEMV-complete, you’ll experience service disruption, and you’ll have to wait longer than expected to complete something that ideally should have been coordinated with your initial OEMV plans.
We’ve already seen many operators who’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Here’s a common scenario that continues to play out:
- A store operator brings in a vendor to upgrade fuel dispensers for EMV chip cards.
- After a successful upgrade, they think they’re compliant so they shift resources onto other projects.
- They then discover that their Gilbarco or Verifone POS systems require updates.
- They start looking for a certified MNSP solution, only to realize that resources are in high demand and the clock is ticking.
- They push the MNSP service provider to expedite, but no expedites are available due to high demand—and they discover it can take up to two weeks to receive the necessary equipment (assuming they’ve placed their order accurately)!
Normally, that type of scenario might not seem like such a big deal—except we’re not exactly operating under “normal” conditions these days. For a variety of reasons, the dwindling window of opportunity to meet the OEMV deadline is starting to squeeze both operators and vendors.
Just think about some of the obstacles we have to navigate right now:
- The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting everything from travel restrictions and social distancing to order/delivery schedules.
- Lead times for services are getting longer.
- There are a finite number of skilled technicians available (if you’re not comfortable using your own resources to implement MNSP)—and they’re booking up fast.
- Every other non-compliant site is now competing for the same limited resources as you might be.
Don’t Let Confusion Turn into Business Disruption
Preparing your network is critical for achieving OEMV compliance—as is finding an experienced vendor that has already performed hundreds or even thousands of MNSP upgrades.
If you haven’t placed your order for a certified MNSP solution, you need to do that ASAP. (The same applies for your fuel dispensers, if you haven’t already upgraded them). Start by contacting your preferred vendors and placing your orders. That’s the first step to getting in the queue for your upgrades.
I don’t want to sound alarmist, because this is definitely not the time to panic. But it is the time to step on the accelerator if you want to meet the deadline. Why not turn a sense of urgency into an opportunity to secure the future of your business?
If you’re looking for some MNSP help and want to get started right away, contact Cybera today.
About Paul Melton
As Senior VP and GM of Petroleum at Cybera, Paul Melton focuses on the key trends and challenges of the fuel and C-store retailer industry. He consults with various major oil brands to assist in their strategy for adopting emerging technologies and is actively engaged with hundreds of branded wholesalers and private-brand fuel retailers to support their unique network initiatives. Melton holds a degree in Economics from George Mason University and currently resides in Tampa, FL.