American Express announced today that it plans to extend the effective date of its EMV Fraud Liability Shift for U.S. fuel merchants by three years, to October 2020. The extension will give U.S. fuel merchants increased flexibility in their fight against fraud by providing additional time to upgrade their automatic fuel dispenser systems to accept EMV chip cards. Starting October 2020, U.S. fuel merchants may be held liable for fraud chargebacks that result from payment transactions performed at automatic fuel dispensers if they have not enabled these devices to accept EMV chip cards.
“American Express is committed to helping merchants fight fraud and supporting their efforts to manage the costs of upgrading to EMV,” said Jaromir Divilek, Senior Vice President, Global Network Business, American Express. “U.S. fuel merchants face unique circumstances, including complexity of the hardware upgrade and the process involved in making the updates necessary to accept EMV chip cards at automatic fuel dispensers. We want to ensure these merchants have the time necessary to work through this process so they can upgrade their systems to accept EMV chip cards and enhance their security.”
American Express first announced its U.S. EMV roadmap in 2012. Since that time, the company has worked closely with its merchants, third-party processors, and other partners to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to upgrade their point-of-sale systems so they can accept EMV chip cards. As of October, more than one third of the U.S. Card Present transactions on the American Express Global Network are chip card transactions occurring at EMV-enabled terminals. In addition, nearly all of our U.S. consumer, small business and corporate cards contain EMV chips.
American Express has also taken other steps to help U.S. merchants limit their fraud costs as they upgrade their POS systems. In June, the company announced changes to its EMV chargeback policy that are in effect until April 2018. Under those changes, U.S. merchants are not held liable for chargebacks for counterfeit fraud when a transaction is under $25. In addition, the company is limiting the number of counterfeit fraud chargebacks to a total of 10 per card account. The card issuer – not the merchant – bears the financial liability for any additional counterfeit fraud transactions that are disputed on a card account after 10 chargebacks. This limit does not prevent a Card Member from disputing additional fraudulent transactions.
American Express also offers merchant acquirers a self-certification program that allows them to perform the tests necessary to certify merchants’ POS devices for EMV acceptance. The program enables merchant acquirers to complete the required POS certifications within as little as a few hours. Today, the vast majority of U.S. POS certifications on the American Express Global Network are performed using the self-certification program. For more information about the self-certification program, merchant acquirers can visit: https://network.americanexpress.com/en/globalnetwork/certification/.
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