EMV Chip and PIN just suffered another huge setback in the US

An announcement from VISA suggested that Chip and PIN technology in fuel pumps will be delayed for several years. The original U.S. Automatic Fuel Dispenser EMV activation date for VISA for gas stations throughout the United States was set for October 1, 2017. That date has now been pushed to October 1, 2020.

According to VISA, they have been attempting to engage participants in this payment system over the past several years and have been "analyzing the issues extensively." VISA's most recent study suggests that fraud rates at fuel pumps are relatively tiny – just 1.3-percent of the entirety of United States payment fraud. If this were the only factor being considered in this case, EMV would be rolled out on time.

Unfortunately, this is not the case – it's a bit more complicated for gas stations to push Chip and PIN-ready payment authorization at pumps than previously expected. VISA originally set the chip activation date for automated fuel dispensers/pumps (AFDs) two years after regular in-store locations. This – as it's been made clear today – hasn't been nearly long enough for gas stations across the United States.

One element which pushes this date back is supply and demand. Five years after announcing their liability shift, says VISA, "there are still issues with a sufficient supply of regulatory-compliant EMV hardware and software." Most upgrades for fuel pumps simply would not be able to be made with hardware available in the time between now and October of next year.

VISA also said that many older pumps would need to be replaced completely in order to accept chip readers. For users of suburban and country gas stations, it should be real easy to see why VISA's roll-out needs to be delayed. Many gas stations throughout the United States aren't even certified for regular credit card use – pay at the pump isn't even nationwide here in 2016.

VISA suggests that they'll continue to work with fraud prevention tools like Visa Transaction Advisor (VTA) in the interim. Before Chip and PIN activation can become a reality across the United States, a whole lot of change is going to need to be going on. "Based on the realities of the current issues fuel merchants face and the critical long-term need for the industry to adopt chip as a solution for counterfeit fraud," said VISA, "we believe these changes are a balanced and manageable way to ensure a successful migration to chip."