SOUNDPAYMENTS | With a Deadline Looming, National Retail Solutions Markets a Retrofit for EMV at the Pump
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With a Deadline Looming, National Retail Solutions Markets a Retrofit for EMV at the Pump

Originally published on Digital Transactions – By Peter Lucas –

National Retail Solutions, a POS platform provider for independent convenience stores, is reselling an EMV at the pump retrofit kit from Sound Payments Inc. under its own brand that can significantly reduce station owners’ EMV compliance costs. NRS is calling the technology the NRS EMV EZ Pump Solution.

The retrofit kit, which is manufactured by Sound Payments Inc., a multichannel technology provider whose  products include point-of-sale solutions, is expected to cost about $1,000, or a third of competing retrofit kits. National Retail Solutions (NRS), partnered with Sound Payments back in August to begin reselling its retrofit kits under the NRS brand.

NRS, which is a subsidiary of telecommunications provider IDT Corp., is targeting independently owned gas stations, of which nearly 40% are not yet EMV compliant, according to Conexxus Inc., which develops technology standards for convenience stores and gas stations.

“Most independent stations owners don’t have the cash to replace their pumps to become EMV-compliant like most branded stations, but they know they will get crushed by fraud if they are not compliant,” says Eric Goldberg, vice president of NRS Petro, NRS’s new division for fuel-retailer solutions. “Our solution is cost-effective, entails minimal disruption during installation, and is easy to operate.”

Goldberg:  Stations “know they will get crushed by fraud if they are not compliant.”

Bringing a four-nozzle fuel pump into EMV compliance costs about $25,000 to $30,000 on average, fuel-industry experts say. The price can rise to $40,000 with the addition of loyalty, fleet card, and third-party marketing/discount programs. In comparison, a fuel-pump replacement with a bare-bones EMV card reader is about $20,000.

In addition to its lower cost, NRS’s retrofit kit has an added security feature in that it bypasses the forecourt controller through which card data from the in-pump card reader passes before being routed to a processor. Instead, NRS’s solution connects directly to the processor, then notifies the forecourt controller to activate the pump once the transaction has been approved. Forecourt controllers have become a target for hackers, Goldberg says.

As part of the offering, NRS is touting that station owners can install the card reader one pump at a time, as opposed to having to close down the entire station, which allows them to keep revenues flowing while undergoing installation, says Goldberg, a former Sound Payments executive.

Goldberg adds that NRS is also talking to branded station owners about its solution as an alternative to replacing entire pumps, a strategy favored by the major petroleum companies. “There are branded stations interested in the cost efficiency of our solution,” says Goldberg.

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