January 21, 2020 | Vol. 70, No. 2

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In This Issue
Dear PEI Member:

With the EMV dispenser deadline now just nine months away, it’s clear that many retailers will not complete their upgrades in time to avoid liability for fraudulent credit and debit card transactions. PEI’s most recent survey suggests that only 60% of marketers will be fully EMV-compliant by the October 2020 deadline.

Procrastination, equipment availability, software glitches and installer workloads are the most cited reasons for the slower-than-anticipated rate of adoption. But one other factor can’t be discounted: rapidly evolving forecourt payment alternatives are complicating retailers’ upgrade decisions.

When Mastercard and Visa acted in 2017 to extend the forecourt upgrade deadline, a few tech-savvy fuel customers were beginning to use contactless payment to purchase their fuel. Everyone else had only one real forecourt payment option: inserting their credit or debit card in a dispenser card reader. Aiming to make those CRIND (card reader in dispenser) transactions more secure, the 2020 EMV mandate presented marketers with a binary choice: upgrade the dispenser payment systems or accept liability for any fraudulent transactions.

How times have changed. Three new forecourt payment options are now emerging — options that may offer new levels of convenience for customers and avoid altogether the security issues that plague dispenser payment systems.

Voice-Activated Payment. Millions of consumers have grown comfortable giving voice instructions to various devices. Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant can set a timer, play music, place orders and flawlessly fulfill other consumer-initiated commands.

In early January, ExxonMobil and Fiserv announced that customers at 11,500 U.S. Exxon and Mobil retail fueling facilities also soon will be able to purchase fuel through their Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. With a simple “Alexa, pay for gas” voice command, Fiserv will activate the dispenser and process a secure payment through Amazon Pay. With Amazon now in the fuel payment game, expect Google to follow soon.

Competition for Chip Cards?

PEI Women Conference Registration

Request for Information on Biofuel Incentives

Free Retirement Account Webinar





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by e-mail to the editor, Rick Long at rlong@pei.org

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App-Based Payment. Mobile device apps are increasingly defining the way consumers communicate, work, shop and travel. There really is almost always “an app for that.”

Increasingly, fuel marketers also are launching their own app-based systems to provide a secure payment experience, boost fuel sales and increase customer loyalty. BP’s recently released “BPme” app is a good example. Consumers purchasing fuel through the app will save five cents on every gallon purchased at participating BP and Amoco stations for their first month of use. Those who spend $100 on fuel per month will continue to enjoy the five-cent discount. And all app users regularly receive deals, discounts, special offers and other benefits.

In-Dash Payment. Vehicle manufacturers are enhancing in-dash infotainment systems with e-commerce capabilities — including the ability to purchase fuel. Shell agreed in 2018 to accept payments from the in-dash GM Marketplace system available on certain Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles (see Aug. 16, 2018 TL). Last week, Shell announced a similar arrangement with Fiat-Chrysler for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brand vehicles with Fiat-Chrysler’s UConnect Market. Expect many more manufacturer/fuel marketer partnerships soon.

Voice-activated payment, apps and in-dash payment systems aren’t likely to eliminate traditional CRIND payments any time soon. But as more and more consumers look to those alternatives for convenience and payment security, fuel marketers who have not yet completed their EMV upgrades may begin asking, “If fewer customers will be using a credit card at the dispenser, how much money should I invest in that old technology?”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a request for information (RFI) on a fueling infrastructure incentive program to increase sales of higher biofuel blends (E15, B20 and higher).

PEI members are well positioned to provide input on several of the questions posed in the RFI, including:

  1. What type of equipment assistance/incentives would be most cost-effective?
  2. Should funding be offered for both new equipment and retrofits?
  3. What equipment listings or other minimum standards should be required?
  4. Should funding be limited to marketers with a certain number of dispensers?
  5. Should funding be provided only for certain dispenser configurations (for example, hoses that are shared with other fuels)?
  6. Should recipients be asked to adopt consistent branding for E15, B20 and other blends?
  7. What cost-sharing should be required of funding recipients?
  8. To what extent should infrastructure accommodate future fuels?

Since this program could involve hundreds of millions of dollars in fueling equipment incentives, PEI encourages all members with helpful perspectives to participate in the RFI. Comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on Jan. 30. Additional details about the RFI and instructions for submitting comments may be found here.

Registration is now open for the 2020 PEI Women Conference, April 20-22, in Memphis, Tennessee at The Guesthouse at Graceland.

The conference program features a powerful keynote on “Redefining Success” by Carly Patterson, three-time Olympic gymnastics medalist. Author Beth Ziesenis will present “Powered Productivity: Super Tech Tools to Get Stuff Done” and lead a hands-on workshop on how to best leverage social media, marketing and communications. Finally, attendees will be able to select other sessions in which they are most interested (an EPA regulatory update, family business dynamics, communications and more). The conference schedule also has plenty of time for attendees to network, catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Early bird registration is $495 ($595 for non PEI Women members) through March 10. After March 10, the fee increases to $595 for members ($695 for nonmembers). Nonmember registration includes a lifetime PEI Women membership (a $100 value). PEI’s negotiated room rate at The Guesthouse at Graceland, a AAA Four Diamond property, is $149 plus tax. Book your room early to ensure you get PEI’s special rate.

An optional pre-event guided Memphis Discovery Tour at 1:30 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 20 features a visit to the Rock ’n’ Soul Museum, a sample BBQ tasting and a visit to the Peabody Hotel to see the famous Duck March. Tickets are $60 and space is limited, so be sure to sign up when you register.

To learn more and register, click here. If you have any questions about registration or lodging, contact Sarah West at swest@pei.org or 918-236-3968.

PEI is offering several conference sponsorship opportunities. View sponsorship details and levels here or contact Tom Leibrandt at tleibrandt@pei.org or 918-236-3962.

The SECURE Act, signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 20, made important changes to popular retirement planning strategies, including 401ks and stretch IRAs. To help PEI members understand the basics, PEI is sponsoring a free webinar at 11:30 a.m. CST, Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The webinar, “What You Need to Know about the SECURE Act,” is presented in cooperation with the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), a broad-based coalition of trade and professional associations, including PEI. The one-hour session will detail changes you may need to make in your estate planning documents and explain how to reduce any potential retirement benefit loss.

Presenters are Paula Calimafde and Jessica Summers. Calimafde, president and general counsel of the SBLC, is a veteran Capitol Hill observer and tax lawyer. Summers is a Washington, D.C. attorney who also serves as the SBLC’s strategic policy director. Registered attendees may submit questions in advance and during the live discussion.

All PEI members are invited to take advantage of this exceptional opportunity. Although there is no fee to participate in the webinar (PEI has already paid the registration fee for our members to participate), preregistration is required. Learn more and reserve your spot here.

RDM Industrial Electronics is the official Welcome Station sponsor for PEI’s 2020 Young Executives Winter Conference (Feb. 5-7, Denver), Purchasing and Inventory Managers Conference (April 1-3, San Antonio) and PEI Women Conference (April 20-22, Memphis). 

PEI thanks RDM for its commitment to the association and the industry. For information on other cost-effective conference sponsorship opportunities, contact Tom Leibrandt at tleibrandt@pei.org.

“For calendar year 2019, U.S. light-duty vehicle sales totaled 16.965 million,
which is just slightly less than 2018. For the past five years, annual sales remained about 17 million. In 2009, during the Great Recession, light-duty vehicle sales fell to 10.3 million vehicles.” — Department of Energy, Jan. 13, 2020
“New or higher registration fees go into effect Wednesday for electric vehicle owners in at least eight states. For the first time, a majority of U.S. states will impose special fees on gas-free cars, SUVs and trucks — a significant milestone as the trend toward green technology intersects with the mounting need to pay for upgrades and repairs to the nation’s infrastructure.” — Associated Press, Dec. 29, 2019
“New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a bill that represents the state’s most ambitious strategy to promote electric vehicles. New Jersey, where transportation accounts for about half of greenhouse gas emissions, joins about a dozen other states that have targets for electric-vehicle adoption. The bill calls for 2 million plug-in electric vehicles by 2035, and offers consumers rebates of as much as $5,000.” — Bloomberg Environment Reporter, Jan. 17, 2020
“Massachusetts is re-starting a program of cash rebates for purchases of electric vehicles. Massachusetts has started as of Jan. 1 to offer up to $2,500 per electric vehicle and $1,500 for certain gas-electric hybrids purchased in the state. Only vehicles under $50,000 are eligible.” — Bloomberg Environment Reporter, Jan. 2, 2020

Jones & Frank
named Tanya Graham vice president of human resources. Graham most recently held a senior human resources position at Case New Holland, a large, heavy machinery manufacturer specializing in agriculture and construction equipment.
Wilson/Rogers & Associates Inc.
announced a merger with Steve Latimer & Associates, Inc. Steve Latimer will join Wilson/Rogers as a principal. Greg Bruce, Ron Weeks, Kirk Jackson, Erika Kibitskaya and Erik Mickelson also will join Wilson/Rogers, which has represented PEI manufacturers in 13 western states since 1989.

Texas installation and service company. Commercial Fuel Systems, 8803 Deer Lodge Road, Magnolia, TX 77354, applied for service and construction division membership. Sean Smith is senior manager for the organization, which was established in 2017. Commercial Fuel Systems installs and services all fuel systems, and provides start-up, functional testing and commissioning services. Sponsored for PEI membership by Rick Rollins, Excell Fueling Systems, Buda, Texas.

Arizona manufacturer. Wrapcovers, P.O. Box 45535, Phoenix, AZ 85064, applied for affiliate division membership. Jack Adams is CEO of the company, which was established in 2018. Wrapcovers manufactures plastic bollard covers and promotional wrap covers. Sponsored for PEI membership by Brooke Long, Innoplast, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

German manufacturer. Pressol Schmiergeräte GmbH, Am Gansacker 10c, Umkirch, 79224, Germany applied for manufacturer division membership. Serge Doucet is sales manager for the company, which was established in 1914. Pressol Schmiergeräte GmbH manufactures oilers, sprayers, funnels, measuring jugs, fuel cans, grease guns, manual pumps, pneumatic pumps, oil drains, hose reels and diesel tanks, which are primarily sold through distributors. Sponsored for PEI membership by Sam Goode, National Spencer Inc., Wichita, Kansas.


  • Sidney Provoast, Flyers Energy, Pearland, Texas (operations and engineering)
  • Amanda Appelt, Flyers Energy, Auburn, California (operations and engineering)
  • Total Image Solutions, South Hill, Virginia (service and construction)
  • DATZ UST Management LLC, Conway, Arkansas (service and construction)
  • InterMountain Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado (service and construction)
  • The Site Controller LLC, Corona, California (manufacturer)
  • Atlantic Containment, McGaheysville, Virginia (manufacturer)
  • Green Petroleum Equipment, Houston, Texas (affiliate)
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The TulsaLetter is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Richard C. Long, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.