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The Globe and Mail

Walmart Canada looks into possible credit card data breach

“We recommend Walmart Canada’s Online Photocentre customers monitor their card transactions closely,” said Alex Roberton, director of corporate affairs and social media at Walmart Canada.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Walmart Canada is investigating a potential breach of customer credit card data after one of its websites operated by a third party was compromised.

"We were recently informed of a potential compromise of customer credit card data involving Walmart Canada's Photocentre website, www.walmartcanadaphotocentre.ca, which is operated by a third-party," said Alex Roberton, director of corporate affairs and social media at Walmart Canada. "We recommend Walmart Canada's Online Photocentre customers monitor their card transactions closely and immediately alert their financial institution about any unauthorized charges."

Mr. Roberton said the company has disabled the website and its mobile applications and notified the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

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Walmart said it has "no reason to believe" its Walmart.ca and Walmart.com destinations or its in-store transactions have been affected.

A source close to the situation told The Globe and Mail that as many as 60,000 customers could be affected.

According to Walmart's website, PNI Digital Media operates its online photo centre. PNI says on its website that "leading retailers use our proven platform to offer photo prints and photo gifts," among other services. The company also says its platform handled more than 19 million transactions in 2012 and 18 million last year. It was bought by Staples Inc. in 2014.

PNI Digital and Staples did not respond to requests for comment. Walmart said it was continuing to look into the situation and could not share anything beyond the statement provided.

The company said it is working with its vendor and financial partners.

The Globe sought comment from The Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and CIBC, which are major credit card providers. TD said in a statement it is aware of the investigation.

The breach comes at a time when retailers are jockeying for position in a hyper-competitive market. The squeeze already claimed Target Canada and several other big names, including Future Shop and Zellers. It also comes just days after Walmart began online grocery pickup service for some Ottawa-area stores on July 7.

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In December, 2013, in the United States, 40 million credit and debit card accounts with Target Corp. were compromised in one of the largest card breaches at a U.S. retailer.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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