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The Upcoming “EMV Shift” – What Truckstop And Travel Plaza Operators Should Know

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Technology

NATSO has received a number of questions from truckstop owners and operators regarding the October 1, 2015 “EMV Shift” – this refers to Visa and MasterCard’s plans to begin aligning credit and debit cards in the United States with those companies’ proprietary chip technology.

To meet our members' need for information on this topic, NATSO has prepared a detailed Question-and-Answer document answering some of the key questions on this important topic. Read the detailed document at The Upcoming “EMV Shift” – What Truckstop And Travel Plaza Operators Should Know

This week we will feature several points in the document on the blog. 

- What is EMV?
EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa.  EMV is a global standard for credit and debit cards that are equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.  In the wake of numerous large-scale data breaches in the U.S. and increasing rates of counterfeit card fraud, U.S. card issuers are migrating to this technology, purportedly to protect consumers and reduce the instances and costs of fraud. They have established a deadline of October 1, 2015 as the date this “EMV Shift” will take place.

- What does the EMV Shift Mean?
For merchants, the switch to EMV means acquiring new in-store technology and internal processing systems that are able to read customers’ cards, and complying with new liability rules.

For card issuers (such as banks and credit unions), it means issuing new cards embedded with EMV chips. 

For consumers, it means activating new cards and learning new payment processes.

- Is the EMV Shift Mandatory?
No. The EMV shift is not a mandatory requirement for anybody.  Instead, it refers to a liability shift.  The liability shift means that liability for fraudulent transactions at which a card is present (as opposed to online purchases or mobile payments) will reside in whichever party does not offer EMV-compliant devices.  The party, either the issuer or the merchant, who does not support EMV assumes liability for fraudulent transactions.

By way of background, every card transaction requires two parties: an issuing bank or credit union (which issues cards to consumers) and a merchant.  If fraud occurs, the question becomes who gets stuck with the costs associated with that fraud? After the EMV liability shift, the costs are assumed by the party that is the “least secure” (i.e., less able to support EMV authentication).  For example, if an issuing bank issues a customer an EMV-capable card, and a merchant does not have EMV-capable equipment, the merchant is the “least secure” and will assume the liability for any fraudulent transactions. 

The liability shift thus operates as an incentive (not a requirement) for both merchants and card issuers to acquire EMV technology. Businesses that do not have the new technology in place by October 1, 2015 will be on the hook for any fraudulent transactions or security lapses, instead of payment processing firms or issuing banks.

Read our full review here

///One of NATSO’s primary roles is to deliver solutions to members’ challenges. Each day members tap into the expertise of myself and other NATSO staff members for answers to some of their most pressing questions. If you have questions on the rule, be sure to reach out to me at or (703) 739-8501 with questions. 

This blog post is intended to provide general information and recommendations and should not be considered legal advice. This information may be subject to regulations and restrictions in your state.

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About the Author

David Fialkov

David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO.  In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov directs NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes.  Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies.
Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C.  At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns.  His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America.  Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security.
Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School.  He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA.  He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah.