Hackers are dialing up the heat on gas stations, but business owners are about to start fighting back.
As U.S. retailers continue the nationwide rollout of payment terminals that accept EMV cards, which are chip-enabled debit and credit cards designed to better stamp out fraud, more than 150,000 convenience stores and gas stations will be the next leg of implementation.
Similar to last year's deadline rush to update brick-and-mortar stores' payment systems, it's expected to cause headaches at the pump and at the register when upgrades begin over the next 12 months.
The deadline for installing payment technology is Oct. 1, 2017, but convenience store operators big and small are expected to begin setting up new systems in less than a year as gas stations get ready for the switch.
It's going to cost stations and convenience stores about $6 billion, since upgrading the technology comes with a price tag as high as $17,000 per pump, according to Gray Taylor, executive director of industry group Conexxus. That has the potential to cut into the bottom line of small-business owners, who make up the majority of owners of U.S. gas stations and convenience stores.
"It's an economic calculation for the merchant," said Jason Oxman, CEO of The Electronic Transactions Association. "It's a lot harder to replace a gas pump."