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Walmart, Visa go to court over how you pay for your unicorn helmet

The giant retailer and the giant financial services company fight over PINs versus signatures.

Walmart says the PIN is mightier than the pen. Visa begs to differ.

Walmart says the PIN is mightier than the pen. Visa begs to differ.

Ute Grabowsky/Photothek/Getty Images

Walmart and Visa are going to war over your PIN.

On Tuesday, the giant retailer filed a lawsuit against Visa, complaining the financial services company won't let it require PINs on transactions made with chip-enabled debit cards. Instead, Visa wants customers to have the choice of using signatures, which Walmart says are less secure.

"PIN is the only truly secure form of cardholder verification in the marketplace today, and it offers superior security to our customers," Walmart said in an emailed statement. "This suit is about protecting our customers' bank accounts when they use their debit cards at Walmart."

Visa didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The dispute comes as retailers and consumers adjust to new chip-enabled cards, which are inserted into newer readers but swiped at older ones. Not all retailers have made the transition to the new technology, creating confusion among customers.

No matter how the suit ends, Walmart will still sell you a purple unicorn helmet, a Duck Dynasty plush and a pair of cast-iron penguin bottle openers.