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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

Home Depot sues Visa and MasterCard over security issues

Wednesday 15 June 2016 | 02:52 PM CET

Home Depot has filed an antitrust action against Visa and MasterCard, claiming the credit card companies made retailers who accept their payment cards vulnerable to fraud.

In its lawsuit, Home Depot accused Visa and Mastercard of trying to block the use of PINs and pushing merchants toward accepting less-secure transactions that earn higher fees.

The suit claims that for decades the technology has existed to make credit and debit card transactions less vulnerable to fraud, but Visa and MasterCard pushed consumers to use payment card technology that Visa and MasterCard know is defective.

That security technology, now ubiquitous in Europe, combines use of a computer chip embedded in each card with personal identification numbers (PINs). That makes it much harder for hackers to copy information onto counterfeit cards.

However, Home Depot said they would be more effective if they also required customers to insert a PIN, instead of signing. Debit cards have that option, but very few credit cards do.

Home Depot’s suit comes as it is embroiled in multidistrict litigation with financial institutions across the country stemming from a massive data breach that compromised the personal and financial information of an estimated 56 million Home Depot customers in 2014. Hackers gained access to Home Depot sales terminals across the nation, stole customer information and then sold it on the dark web.

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