This week, Walmart sued Visa in New York State Court, saying it wanted to be able to require PIN authorizations on all EMV debit card transactions. Although many debit card transactions already require a PIN to authorize purchases or withdrawals on that card, Visa makes its merchants give Visa card holders the option to authorize with a signature. Walmart is arguing that this puts its customers at risk for fraud.
Visa, Mastercard, and other card networks set an October 2015 deadline for merchants and card issuers in the US to shift to the chip-based EMV standard (which is eponymous for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, the three groups that developed the standard). The transition was meant to replace the magnetic stripe cards that persisted for years in the US, even after other countries quickly made the transition to the more secure chip-based cards. Walmart made the transition early last year, becoming one of the first national retailers to buy new terminals that accepted EMV cards, the Wall Street Journal reports.