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Which is Better When Converting to EMV: Two Wires…or No Wires At All?

EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, is the global technology standard used to authenticate transactions from smart cards equipped with computer chips. It critical for fuel centers to make the conversion to EMV as soon as possible. Why? Because as of October 2017, banks have shifted the liability for fraudulent transactions onto the merchant. But should fuel center owners connect EMV supporting hardware with conventional two-wire technology or convert to wireless Ethernet products? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.

Today, most fuel centers incorporate standard twisted-pair connections to the fuel dispensers. These two-wire installations were originally designed to support low bandwidth communications such as RS-485 and dial-up. But such narrowband connections are inherently slow and insufficient for carrying secure EMV transactions. To have the necessary bandwidth to handle this new technology, fuel centers with two-wire installations need to convert.

A wireless Ethernet connection is often the most effective and efficient conversion option. Ethernet was created for HD media solutions and supplies ample bandwidth of 300 Mbps. It is fast and reliable, so fuel center operators and customers never have to worry about machines bogging down during payment transactions.

But speed isn’t the only consideration. Fuel centers need to make the switch to PCI Compliant Proprietary Encrypted Protocol in order to reduce the possibility of identity theft. PCI identifies who has secure data network transmissions to protect a customer’s credit card information while also promoting optimal performance. Converting to EMV readers ensures PCI compliance.

Finally, the hardware used for EMV card reading should be trouble-free and easy to install. The switchover needs to be fast to minimize any downtime and reduce any related costs. Converting to a wireless Ethernet solution does just that. Since it’s wireless, there’s no need to dig or lay new cables. A plug and play wireless EMV system typically installs in about an hour and fuel stations can remain open during installation.

For all these reasons, the fuel center industry has increasingly moved away from two-wire technology and adopted Ethernet as the primary means of communications for all systems and devices in the fuel center. Ethernet is flexible and this proven technology is used in virtually every industry. It supplies high bandwidth capable of handling the secure EMV transactions of today and whatever upgrades the future might hold.

To ensure your fuel station has EMV and PCI compliant payment systems, the best solution is to convert to a wireless Ethernet connection. The AvaLAN EMV access point or in-store devices are ideal for a quick and easy EMV upgrade. Secure and reliable, the AW584EMVAP and AW584EMVSU offer local wireless networking connectivity to fuel dispensers.

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