Target to pay $39 million to MasterCard issuers

Target Corp. reached an agreement with MasterCard Worldwide issuers on Dec. 2, 2015. The Minneapolis-based retailer will award as much as $39 million to U.S. MasterCard issuing banks adversely affected by the massive data breach Target experienced in December 2013. This offer exceeds a previous offer of $19 million to MasterCard issuers disclosed in April 2015. Eligible issuers had until May 20, 2015 to respond to individual settlement offers.

A group of small banks opposing the initial settlement included Mutual Bank in Whitman, Mass.; Village Bank in St. Francis, Minn.; CSE Federal Credit Union in Lake Charles, La.; First Federal Savings of Lorain in Lorain, Ohio; and Umpqua Bank in Roseburg, Ore. Litigants claimed the offer insufficiently addressed expenses related to the breach that hit Target at the height of the 2013 holiday period.

Plaintiffs further noted that small financial institutions lack the infrastructure and economies of scale to absorb expenses related to data breaches. These costs can include payment card reissuance, help desk services and up to a year of free credit monitoring for potentially affected account holders.