American Express Delays EMV Deadline To April 16, 2021

Following VISA’s EMV delay announcement from last Friday, American Express announced that it will extend the October 2020 deadline for EMV upgrades to April 16, 2021.

PMAA, NACS, SIGMA, NATSO and the Merchant Advisory Group requested the deadline extension in a March 23rd letter because the coronavirus lockdown and social distancing requirements made it impossible in many cases for EMV vendors to install new equipment and software at retail locations.

The deadline extension is good news for petroleum marketers because it ensures that enough EMV vendors will be available to convert retail sites in a timely manner by the new April deadline.

Any significant backlog or delay in EMV scheduling due to the coronavirus pandemic would likely push installation past the original October deadline subjecting marketers with point of sale magnetic credit card readers to assume the liability for fraudulent card charges.

Mastercard and Discover are the last two major card networks who haven’t responded to requests for an EMV delay.

“Given that VISA and American Express have made the prudent decision to delay the EMV deadline, I would assume the other card networks are likely to follow,” said PMAA President Rob Underwood. “For example, if the other card networks like MasterCard or Discover adhere to the October 2020 deadline, retailers who aren’t EMV compliant by October 2020 may not want to take the risk of accepting those card networks at the pump. The six-month delay is welcome news to our industry which will give us more time to fully comply.”

PMAA recently completed its own EMV survey over an 8-day period (April 30-May 7th) in which 253 companies participated in the survey. The results clearly demonstrate that a significant number of retail stations are unable to meet the Oct 2020 EMV deadline.

The COVID-19 pandemic only made matters worse. Click Here for the survey results.

PMAA will continue to monitor the EMV transition process to ensure petroleum marketers will have sufficient time for conversion without risk of exposure to liability.

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