Visa has filed a counter lawsuit against Walmart Stores, claiming the supermarket chain has secretly tested a protocol that eliminated the need of signature verifications for transactions done using a Visa debit card.
Filed in the Supreme Court of New York, the case accuses the retailer for secretly configuring its payment terminals so that only personal identification numbers (PINs) could be used, even if customers prefer a signature confirmation.
According to the contract signed by both parties, Walmart obliged to offer customers the option of using PIN or signature to confirm transactions.Contrary to this choice, Walmart did not allow customers to use signatures after it reconfigured terminals in February this year.
"Indeed, at the time of (the contract’s) execution, Walmart had already hatched a plan to eliminate the signature option at its physical locations shortly after the effective date," Visa said in the counterclaim filing.
The company also said that it was never informed by Walmart that it had eliminated the signature choice. Instead, the matter was brought by the customers, who complained that they are unable to use their debit cards at Walmart stores unless they had a PIN.
Earlier in May, Walmart filed a case against Visa claiming that the company forced to allow customers to verify chip-enabled debit card transactions with a signature instead of a PIN.
Home Depot and Kroger too filed similar lawsuits recently against Visa over allegedly forcing them to give up PIN verification.