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Walmart sues Visa over chip cards in US

May 12 2016 09:40
This Walmart store in Chinatown, Los Angeles, is o

This Walmart store in Chinatown, Los Angeles, is one of seven Walmart stores in Southern California and 269 stores across the globe that will close down due to company restructuring. (AFP)

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New York - US retail giant Walmart is suing Visa to give customers using chip-enabled debit cards in its US stores the right to punch in a PIN code.

Walmart Stores said Visa's opposition to allowing PIN use in the chip cards, which immediately debit the amount from the linked bank account, creates an unacceptable risk to customers' bank accounts.

Currently, customers sign a receipt for their debit-card transaction, as they do with magnetic-stripe cards that are swiped.

Walmart filed its complaint against Visa in a New York state court on Tuesday, according to court documents reviewed by AFP.

In its complaint, Walmart said Visa refuses to allow the use of PIN codes and imposes a signature as verification on debit as well as credit cards, which involve a delayed transaction.

"We believe Visa's position creates unacceptable risk to customers and its actions and rules are inconsistent with federal law," the company said in an emailed statement Wednesday to AFP.

It noted that debit cards are the most-used form of payment in its thousands of stores.

"PIN is the only truly secure form of cardholder verification in the marketplace today, and it offers superior security to our customers," said the company, which has sought PIN use from Visa for several months.

"This suit is about protecting our customers' bank accounts when they use their debit cards," the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said.

In the United States, card-transaction terminals recently have begun to accept pin-and-chip cards, which have been used for years in Europe and elsewhere. The switch to the chip-enabled cards was accelerated by massive data thefts from the bank accounts of millions of customers in retailers, such as Target.

"Visa has acknowledged in many other countries that chip and PIN offer greater security," Walmart said.

"Visa nevertheless has demanded that we allow fraud-prone signature verification for debit transactions in our US stores because Visa stands to make more money processing those transactions."

wal-mart  |  lawsuits  |  retail

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