Mastercard to phase out magstripe cards: What that means for you

End of an Era: Mastercard Phases Out Magstripe Cards + Implications for C-StoresEnd of an Era: Mastercard Phases Out Magstripe Cards + Implications for C-Stores

The end of swipe is upon us. Mastercard has announced it is phasing out the use of magstripe cards.
Yes, after six decades of swipes, that little magnetic stripe on the back of your bank cards is going away. The move has plenty of implications for convenience stores that have not upgraded to outdoor EMV.

Starting in 2024, Mastercard will no longer require its credit and debit cards to have a stripe in most markets. By 2027, U.S. banks will no longer be required to issue chip cards with a magnetic stripe. Mastercard expects to eliminate magstripes by 2033.

Before we discuss what this means for c-stores, let’s remember how we got here.

Back to the Future

The magstripe was invented in the 1960’s to replace flatbed imprinting machines (aka knuckle-busters), which cashiers used to record credit card information.

So how were stores able to instantly verify a customer’s account? They couldn’t. Instead, card companies would send merchants a list of bad account numbers and the merchant had to match their own lists to verify purchases.

Fast-forward to today, EMV chips are used for 86% of face-to-face card transactions globally. Only 11% of consumers still prefer the magstripe, according to a December 2020 survey paid for by Mastercard.

That negative consumer sentiment is directly related to the lack of security measures surrounding magstripes. Criminals have proven they can easily steal consumers’ cardholder data using malware and skimmers to embed that stolen data onto counterfeit magstripe cards. On the other hand, cards with EMV chips are encrypted and cannot be so easily stolen.

What Does it Mean for C-Stores?Outdoor EMV Liability Shifts to Convenience Store Retailers

For convenience stores that have already upgraded their fuel dispensers with outdoor EMV technology, it’s business as usual.

For retailers who still haven’t invested in modern payment technology as mandated by EMV regulations, business is about to become even more complicated. Mastercard was the first to take this position on magstripes; but the other major card brands are very likely to follow suite with their own plans to phase out magnetic stripes from credit cards.

If retailers with old equipment don’t upgrade soon, their customers could be forced to use cash to pay for gas inside the c-store. As most fuel business owners know, the lion-share of customers pay at the pump. Less than a third of consumers still use cash at all. Taking the pay-at-the-pump option off the table is a near-automatic business killer.

The end of magstripe cards isn’t the only problem non-compliant retailers face. Many major oil companies are now charging non-compliance fees for any station without EMV-ready forecourts. Some are even pulling the payment terminals out of the pumps altogether to avoid fraud.

The Bottom Line

Skipping on EMV? Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You…
These complications are nothing compared to the constant and immediate threat of chargebacks as a result of fraud migration. As more retailers turn on EMV at the pump, criminals are seeking out easier targets that have not been upgraded.

While there are some tactics retailers can use in an attempt to mitigate fraud, none of them are as effective or foolproof as the mandated EMV upgrade.

Ready to start protecting your business and customers from fraud with EMV-compliant payment technology?

Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-451-4021 or Email Us with any further questions or inquiries.

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The John W. Kennedy Company appreciates your business and continued support!


Upgrading to EMV? It’s Later Than You Think

The following article has been reproduced from the CStore Decisions article, Upgrading to EMV? It’s Later Than You Think, written by  that appeared online on

EMV Technologies

Panel experts warn that now is the time to start the long process of upgrading your pumps to EMV standards.


The EMV liability shift as it has come to be known as will take place on October 1, 2020. This deadline is when fuel retailers will have to install or upgrade their locations with the more secure chip card reader technology that uses cryptography to keep credit card information safe and prevent fraud.


This deadline will create a major liability shift from the card-issuing banks to pushing nearly all credit card fraud to retailers who do not upgrade their pumps to the new, more secure technology.

And for those not familiar with EMV, it’s an actual company, EMVCo. that stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. It was formed by those credit card issuing banks; American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa to address fraud prevention within the industry with the result being the chip card that most consumers have already been using inside the c-store and other retail environments.

And while the deadline has been extended once already, for those retailers undecided about whether to upgrade or not, it looms just over a year away!

Session panelist and Folk Oil Vice President Jim Linton warned those reluctant retailers it’s later than they think, warning that lead times for upgrading current dispensers could take as much as six months! Linton should know as Folk Oil has updated 100% of its pumps at all 35 of its multi-branded locations. He’s seen many of the things that can go wrong and delay the process.

Linda Toth, director of standards for non-profit c-store and petroleum market technology advocate Conexxus, said a study by her group found that 58% of retailers who have yet to upgrade believe they won’t make the liability shift deadline. And 25% said they have no idea when they’ll upgrade.

If you haven’t upgraded yet, your biggest question is: Is it worth it to upgrade?  We at the Kennedy Company agree with this panel’s findings; yes, it most certainly is! If you have the “wait and see” attitude, you will find it will be much tougher to get the necessary equipment and skilled technicians to perform the needed upgrades as we get closer to the deadline and AFTER the deadline, YOU – THE RETAILER will be responsible for pretty much all the fraud payback!

Also, the longer retailers wait, the more difficult and costly it will get to upgrade and if your reluctance to upgrade causes you to miss the deadline altogether, there is a very strong likelihood fraud payback charges will be far more costly than the upgrade itself!


If you haven’t upgraded your location(s) to EMV yet, looking to stay ahead in the game and would like to upgrade today, contact us at 1.800.451.4021.



The John W. Kennedy Company appreciates your business and continued support!



Chip Card Storm Brews

Jeremie Myhren - chief information officer for Road Ranger in Rockford, Ill.The following article, written by Jeremie Myhren appeared May 9, 2019 on Convenience Store Decisions  has been reproduced. Jeremie has been managing IT in the convenience retail industry since 2000. He is the chief information officer for Road Ranger in Rockford, Ill.
Read Jeremie’s original article here.


As the October 2020 EMV liability shift at the pump draws near, the cost of not taking action grows clear.

No other industry has as many unattended outdoor payment terminals as we do in the convenience store and petroleum industry in the U.S. There isn’t even a close second.

This becomes increasingly relevant to the data security conversation as the payments technology and security landscape continues to evolve. Outdoor payment terminals are steadily increasing in value as a tool used by the criminal underworld.

The October 2015 inside Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) liability shift in the U.S. moved a material percentage of retail payment card transactions from traditional magnetic stripe swipe to inserted, chip-card read. While attackers moved to exploit chip where they could, through techniques like swipe fallback, the retail shift to chip added cost, complexity and reduced feasibility for the criminal hacking groups and gangs who perpetrate most of the large-scale payment-card breaches.

That’s not to imply that inside EMV solves the payment card data security problem. In most cases, payment terminals are just as susceptible to a costly compromise as before EMV. Typical breach methods like memory scraping point-of-sale (POS) malware remain a threat, and the data captured in such an attack remains valuable, even from a chipped card. Really, the biggest shift in the EMVmove to inside chip is that your outlet becomes less attractive for criminal syndicates to perpetrate the final step of the payment-card data-breach fraud — actually spending the money or using the compromised account to buy goods or services to then sell or trade for cash.

That said, today, few of us have fully-operational EMV-capable payment-card terminals at the pump. Many of us have some sites and lanes with chip-capable hardware, but few retailers and payment networks are conducting an actual chip-card read at the fuel island.

The EMV liability shift at the fuel island currently stands at October 2020 and is unlikely to be extended further. Until the liability shift actually takes effect, so long as we follow current acceptance rules (things like not authorizing over allowed limits), we’re largely protected from stolen account numbers being used for purchases at our outdoor payment terminals.

This conceals the reality that our c-store sites are seeing higher incidences of stolen or breached payment cards being used for fuel purchases. Thieves are finding more obstacles at their traditional outlets, which have fully converted to chip-card acceptance, so the non-EMV-accepting fuel dispensers have increased in value to them. Because the issuing banks behind the stolen cards being used are bearing the cost of most of this fraud, we are often blind to it — even as it rises steadily.

This sets us up for a troublesome late 2020. Those who do not make the necessary investments in chip-accepting hardware at the fuel island, as well as those who have, but whose POS and payment processing partners have not, will find a shock in November 2020 as they bear the full burden of payment-card fraud at the fuel island for the first time.

What’s A Retailer To Do?

  • If you are branded, ask your fuel brand what your options are and what the current state of their technology programs are when it comes to EMV at the pump.
  • Talk to your POS software and hardware providers to determine dispenser EMV options and when they will be ready.
  • Talk to your dispenser partners about your specific dispensers and what your specific options are.
  • Talk to your payment-card processors about your specific technology mix and when they will be ready for your specific setup.
  • Talk to Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. If you do not have an assigned representative from each payment brand, ask your payment-card processor to put you in touch.
  • Ask each payment brand to share the burden of Automated Fuel Dispenser (AFD) fraud at your sites for the past year. Normally, you do not see this data, as you didn’t bear the burden of it, but they have it and are generally able to provide it.
  • Use all of the above to apply pressure where needed to get various stakeholders to get you ready in time. Also use it to build your business case and ROI needed to fund the necessary investments to be prepared.


Do you have further questions about EMV capable and compatible equipment for your customer’s forecourt and in-store transactions?  Give us a call at 1.800.451.4021!


The John W. Kennedy Company appreciates your business and continued support!



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