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It’s Walmart vs. Visa on Using PINs and Chip Cards

Walmart is suing Visa, saying the credit card company is not letting it require customers to use PINs rather than signatures to secure purchases made with chip-embedded debit cards.

The lawsuit “could stoke the continuing debate about how to balance security and convenience with the new generation of chip-enabled cards,” The Wall Street Journal reports

“Wal-Mart says it prefers PINs because they are more secure than signatures. Debit cards are the most frequently used form of payment at Wal-Mart, accounting for more than 70% of the dollar value of card payments,” the article says.

In 2015, credit card companies began requiring businesses to convert to chip card readers to take credit and debit card payments. The companies Europay, MasterCard and Visa have pushed for use of the EMV technology instead of swipe cards to increase security against fraud.

“Visa has long required merchants to give customers the choice of signing or entering a PIN, and the company has said some shoppers want that flexibility,” The Wall Street Journal article says.

However, U.S. government agencies and retailers have questioned why the credit card companies insist on chip-and-signature cards rather than more secure chip cards with PINs, according to The New York Times

Walmart says the goal of its lawsuit is to protect “our customers’ bank accounts” when they shop at the company’s retail stores, The Wall Street Journal writes.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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