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Originally published in the PCS Newsletter –

Independent station owners are in a challenging situation and they need our help. These owners are busy. They are multi-taskers with family who are helping run the store and stock the shelves. When it comes to EMV at the pump, they don’t know what to do or who to call. All they know is that they can’t do a full pump replacement, which is often what they are told is their option in order to become EMV compliant. These owners have already had thousands and thousands of dollars in chargebacks, but you have the power to help change this.

Why should it matter to you?

Sure, you get additional revenue, but you won’t get that anymore if they are no longer in business. There is an alternative cost-effective option. By helping them you can prevent them from closing their doors. Many stations are starting to feel the impact of chargebacks at an alarming rate. Some stations are making their customers come inside with a pay-inside note slapped on the front of the pump – many of us just move on to the next station if we must come inside the pay, which usually result in long lines. How much business is lost as a result?

Upgrading means that they are preventing chargebacks AND the loss of customers. Upgrading for EMV provides new technology that has additional capabilities like contactless. Depending on the solution they choose it can support future innovation at a lower price. For example, with Sound Easy Pump, once a pump is retrofitted, the system is connected to our cloud which allows for us to easily enable new technology in the future.

With Sound Payments Internet of Things (IOT) ecosystem, we are developing solutions that allow a station owner to oversee and control the entire C-Store/gas station with capabilities such as online ordering, advertising, security and surveillance, CRM loyalty programs, inventory and price control, POS systems and kiosks.

Initially, the only solution to enable EMV offered in the market was a full replacement of pumps at each fueling point. Hence, the main reason station owners are hesitant to upgrade their gas stations to accept EMV payments is cost and downtime. Another major obstacle to upgrades is a shortage of technical personal to conduct the upgrades. Many of the retrofit solutions available are costly, irreversible, require a full integration and are limited by the number of certifications.

To compare price (because really that’s what the station owners want to know), a new pump system costs more than $18,000 per pump and most of the retrofits out there cost more than $9,000. This doesn’t include any additional annual fees or the loss of revenue from station downtime.

For many stations a third-party retrofit is the way to go. I can specifically speak for our solution. Sound Easy Pump is 1/3 of the cost compared to other solutions.

Another factor to consider is whether the solution is semi-integrated. Does it include the following?

  • Semi-integrated solution that is PCI certified and encrypted from end to end
  • Accept any form of payments including chip and pin and contactless
  • EMV certification requirements encapsulated
  • Internal reporting and archiving of data not impacted
  • Direct to processor transaction path from payment device – allows payment processing options that are more difficult to achieve with full integrated systems
  • Support other innovation and connect to in-store systems. Examples: electric car charging stations, carwash, vacuum, signage, loyalty programs, online ordering, fleet programs, gift cards, wallet apps and others

What can you do?

Talk with station owners about retrofit as an option. Sound Easy Pump is a EMV at the pump solution that can help them. Station owners often spend long hours working. Updating their pumps for EMV is not an attractive venture for them, but it is necessary and critical for them to keep their doors open. There is recurring revenue to be made for you, but the bigger concern is that if you don’t get them upgraded, you run the risk of losing the merchant.