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Frequently Asked Questions

Sound Payments Petro Solutions cost-effectively solves EMV at the pump with Sound Easy Pump™, a retrofit, semi-integrated payment solution that supports contactless via card tap, NFC, QR code scanning, PIN-on-glass, MSR, and EMV chip and PIN.

Installation involves only one power cord and eliminates the need to purchase new pumps and close stations for installation. The direct-to-processor transaction connection uses point-to-point encryption so it is more secure and will eliminate many types of fraud that are common today. In addition, the platform is flexible so it can easily support future innovations.

Why would a station want to upgrade?

We recognize that stations are facing a challenging time from an unusual year – and now more than ever, cost is top of mind. For this reason, it is even more paramount to evaluate upgrade options to support EMV at the pump. A semi-integrated, retrofit solutions can serve as a cost-effective solution at a time when stations are concerned about their bottom line.

 

Stations have continuously cited costs as a major obstacle. The Sound Easy Pump model was built on providing a cost-effective option. Even during this time, the cost to upgrade with Sound Easy Pump is significantly lower than other options in the market (see the pricing question below for more details).

 

Installation involves only one power cord and eliminates the need to purchase new pumps and close stations for installation. The direct-to-processor transaction connection uses point-to-point encryption so it is more secure and will eliminate many types of fraud that are common today. In addition, the platform is flexible so it can easily support future innovations.

Is it really important to upgrade immediately?

To provide a little background — the push to support EMV stemmed from a change in the rules where merchants and acquirers are liable for all applicable counterfeit fraud associated with EMV chip transactions if their inside POS terminals do not support EMV technology. This became effective for retail EMV chip transactions in October 2015. However, the mandate was pushed back for pay-at-the-pump at gas stations due to the extra complexity to support it. The due date was initially October 2017 but was postponed to October 2020.

The Merchant Advisory Group (MAG), an association that advocates for merchants on payments issues, requested another delay due to the lack of industry readiness. The card networks denied the request.

Industry associations submitted another request for a delay due to COVID-19 and the associated financial impacts.  Visa denied the request, stating that it was premature to make this decision.

They later pushed the date to April of 2021. The ideal time would have been to upgrade before the deadline, but the sooner you upgrade the less chance you have to experience fraudulent issues. The thieves target stations that have not upgraded. So as more stations upgrade the ones that are not upgraded will have an increased chance of being targeted.

Additionally, some of the major oil brands are starting to charge fees if a station has not upgraded.

Why should a petroleum marketer and a station choose Sound Payments?
  • Cost-effective
  • Supports Social Distancing Guidelines
  • Contactless Capabilities
  • Simplified installation
  • Semi-integration Method
  • Supports Future Innovation

Sound Easy Pump™ is a low-cost, simplified option for stations that eliminates the need to replace pumps and tear up concrete. It’s installed with a retrofit kit and the platform is flexible to support future innovations. It supports QR code scanning, PIN on-glass, MSR, EMV chip and PIN, NFC for Apple Pay and Google Pay, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and includes a built-in security camera. Having Contactless capabilities is a major benefit for the purpose of eliminating touch points and also adds convenience value for customers. The benefits of semi-integration versus full integration is also an important consideration in that:

Most existing U.S. implementations in petroleum are conceived as a full integration, where the payment application runs on the forecourt controller, separate from the payment terminal. The payment terminal receives the cardholder data and passes it to the payment application for processing keeping the entire solution in PCI scope for auditing.

Further, maintaining full integration may not continue to be PCI compliant with your other equipment, and any time something changes, it can require a new certification across each piece of the solution affected since the payment application is separate from the payment terminal and thus fully integrated to the entire system. Thus, system security becomes an important issue, as this configuration is responsible for much of the card skimming.

Semi-integration is a method that should be considered. It is also the method used for Sound Easy Pump™. With semi-integration, the payment application runs on the payment terminal. So, all card processing is handled solely by the payment terminal, which links directly to the payment processor.

 

By separating the payment terminal from the rest of the system, this configuration provides more flexibility because it’s compatible with a multitude of pumps and forecourt controllers and does not require new certifications for each software change or update.

It is also more secure, since cardholder data goes directly from the reader to the payment processor/host and encrypted from end to end. In addition, the payment device at the pump is a PCI certified payment terminal, so if anyone tries to tamper with the device, it will stop working.

 Being semi-integrated the approach minimizes downtime because you can upgrade one pump at a time. You don’t need to take the whole station down to convert to EMV.

What is the cost for a retrofit upgrade in terms of hardware, labor and ongoing SAAS fees?

Stations have a few options and they are looking to their merchant services and or pump servicing companies for a solution before the deadline. They break down into three factors: what equipment you currently have, what you want to do in the future and your budget. Below is a breakdown of those options for comparison.

 A. Buy a new pump and complete system. Of course, this is what the pump manufacturers want you to do, and you may not have a choice if your pump is too old to support EMV technology. The benefits to this approach are that you know your system should work. The disadvantage is it can be very expensive for the new hardware, software, and downtime to the business. A four-pump C-Store to upgrade equipment the traditional way can cost a business:

• Downtime, up to 1 month for infrastructure adaptation.
• The Cost of 4 new fuel dispensers @ $15,000 = $60,000.
• Monthly SaaS ≈ $1,000 depending on your software provider.
• This does not include hoses, nozzles and plumbing fixtures and pump software configuration services. In-ground tanks and construction costs that can reach upwards of ~$140,000.
• This does not include labor, permits and other incidentals.
• Lost in-store revenue and customer satisfaction due to outage from ongoing construction – incalculable!

 

Total cost to the gas station owner to convert: >$200,000

 B. Retrofit your existing pump and system. A retrofit involves upgrading your existing pump and system to accept EMV. The major pump manufacturers have retrofit kits that work on some of their newer pumps, but these kits are relatively expensive and require you to upgrade your payment and potentially your POS software. Several third-party companies have developed retrofit kits that are less expensive. A four-pump C-Store to upgrade equipment this way:

• Cost can be between $5,000 – $8,000 per side of the pump
• Monthly SaaS ≈ $1,000
• They don’t retrofit all pumps

 

Total Cost to the gas station owner: >$50,000

 C. Sound Easy Pump™ retrofit is 1/3 of the cost of other solutions and doesn’t involve closing the station or ripping up concrete or potentially the other extraneous costs listed above. Sound Easy Pump™ is semi-integrated, independent of pump and POS provider and separates the challenges of PCI for payments from the in store systems, providing a safer solution security wise via the end to end encryption. A four-pump C-Store to upgrade equipment with our solution:

• Costs can be $3,000 or less per pump
• Retrofit to existing equipment (works with most pumps & forecourt controllers)
• Use existing POS software
• Ability to phase upgrades to EMV by individual pump fueling position
• Eliminate PCI Scope by removing sensitive data from your in-store system

 

Total Cost: 1/3 the cost of comparable solutions

What processors do you work with?

We are currently certified with First Data and Heartland and will continue to pursue new certifications based on opportunity.

How can a station or marketer learn more?

To learn more about Sound Easy Pump solution, you can also call us directly at 844-319-5635 or petrosales@soundpayments.com.