EMV Card Shift sets stage for using Mobile Pay at Gas Station Pay-at-the-pump Dispensers.

Pay-at-the-pump automated fuel dispensers are exempt from EMV Card requirements under the fraud liability shift rules until October 1, 2017. On that date, fuel stations are required to support EMV Cards or face stiff chargeback rules. The expense to migrate to EMV will be significant. Fortunately, it will not be nearly as high as it was when the fuel industry migrated to “pay-at-the-pump” equipped terminals in the 1990s.

While the expense and effort to support EMV will be high, smart fuel operators will use the opportunity to include mobile payment and NFC Card compatibility in the terminal upgrades.  That includes enabling fuel dispensers to support Apple Pay, Android Pay, as well as others still brewing just below the surface.

The reason may not be apparent now, but preliminary studies conducted by my research team is showing that the consumer experience between “swiping” and “dipping and holding” a card at Automated Fuel Dispensers is subtle but annoying. That is because unlike a mag-stripe card, the EMV Card must stay in the POS terminal until authorized. The subtle “multi-tasking” that takes place with swiping (you swipe then return your card to your wallet while waiting for the transaction to be approved) is upended with EMV Card “Dip and Hold” behavior.

This subtle change in behavior creates an opportunity for fuel operators to use mobile payment options like NFC-enabled cards, Apple Pay and Android Pay as a differentiation point for a significant number of motorists.

In fact, our research from a previous life suggests strongly that motorists likely to use mobile payments are more likely to purchase premium fuels and tend to drive more miles annually than non-mobile payment users.

The bottom-line is simple:  As fuel operators begin mapping technology migration plans to support EMV, be sure to give strong consideration to include non-contact and mobile payments in your strategy.