Walmart sues Visa

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is suing Visa for the right to choose how it processes credit card payments.

Walmart filed a document in New York state court saying that Visa wants the retailer to verify credit card transactions with signatures rather than the chip-and-pin method considered more secure.

"Visa has acknowledged in many other countries that chip-and-pin offer greater security," said Walmart in a statement. "Visa nevertheless has demanded that we allow fraud-prone signature verification for debit transactions in our U.S. stores because Visa stands to make more money processing those transactions."

At issue is how transactions are routed. Those using a PIN can be processed through a non-Visa network, but those with a signature must go through Visa's own.

Signature transactions are more costly to process and Walmart pays roughly five cents more for each one, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The transaction to EMV cards has been a bumpy one, and many retailers are still not processing chip cards at all, in spit of an imposed deadline of October 2015. A recent study found that 42 percent of retailers are not EMV compliant.

But Walmart (and Target, which suffered a massive data breach in 2013 using the old technology) have made the switch to EMV and are working on ways to address customer complaints that the new cards slow down checkout procedures.

Walmart has long been at odds with Visa and credit card processors, trying to reduce the so-called swipe fees paid to process each transaction which total tens of billions of dollars annually.

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal story (tiered subscription)

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