A TD Bank branch logo is seen in Halifax on Thursday, March 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Plaid denies misleading customers, using trademarks unfairly after TD Bank lawsuit

Plaid denies misleading customers, using trademarks unfairly after TD Bank lawsuit

TORONTO — Plaid Inc. denies it has used TD Bank’s logo to dupe customers into handing over personal information that the U.S.-based data company could monetize and says it’s disappointed a TD subsidiary has filed a lawsuit against it.

The San Francisco-based company said in a statement to The Canadian Press on Friday that Plaid’s role in transactions is made clear to consumers and it was caught off guard when TD’s U.S. subsidiary filed a lawsuit.

“We were surprised by TD Bank’s decision to file suit in the midst of our good faith discussions, which are still ongoing,” said Plaid, whose software helps apps including Venmo, Coinbase, Square and Stripe access bank and credit card info.

“We have been working with TD for quite some time, and are disappointed that they resorted to litigation and false allegations. Plaid is publicly known for never selling or renting consumers’ personal information.”

The statement stems from a civil suit TD filed in a New Jersey court on Wednesday that accuses Plaid of creating a user interface for financial services applications that infringes on the bank’s trademarks, logos and green colour scheme.

The bank said in the court filings that the interface tricks consumers into believing they are entering personal information into TD Bank’s trusted platform and that Plaid then monetizes that data.

The claims made in the filings have not been tested in court.

When asked for comment on Plaid’s statement, TD referred The Canadian Press to a previous statement from its U.S. subsidiary president Greg Braca, who said the bank is pursuing the lawsuit because of its dedication to transparency and privacy.

“Plaid’s intentional, unauthorized use of TD’s name and branding is deceptive,” Braca said.

“By mimicking TD’s login screen, Plaid creates the false impression that consumers are engaging directly with TD Bank or entering their banking credentials into TD’s digital and mobile app platforms or a platform authorized by TD when that is not the case.”

Vito Pilieci, a spokesperson for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, said that the office was not able to comment on the matter because it has not examined the case or received any complaints about Plaid privacy matters.

Plaid and Visa Inc., which earlier this year announced it would buy Plaid for US$5.3 billion, have faced a series of U.S. class action lawsuits accusing the company of selling information obtained through log-ins to millions of customer accounts without disclosing the practice.

A 2018 blog post from Plaid that was updated in 2019 says that its products have been used by Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Nova Scotia and its Tangerine subsidiary.

The same post advertises that Plaid has run beta tests with fintech company Wealthsimple and rewards business Drop.

RBC, Scotiabank, CIBC and Wealthsimple all declined to comment on whether they had or would be filing lawsuits similar to TD.

BMO and Drop did not respond to a request for comment.

Plaid was founded in 2012 by Zach Perret and William Hockey and quickly racked up millions in venture capital.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 16, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TD, TSX:RY, TSX:CM, TSX:BMO, TSX:BNS)

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Award-winning Calgary developer Brad Remington stands with Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at the site of three multi-family condo complexes that are planned for Capstone, west of Carnival Cinemas. (Photo by LANA MICHELIn/Advocate staff).
Red Deer’s Capstone development to kick off with $36 million condo project

Calgary developer plans to create 180 housing units to open in 2022

Forward Quinton Byfield shoots the puck during practice at the team Canada world juniors selection camp in Oakville, Ont., on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s world junior training camp coming to Red Deer

Camp will take place from Nov 16 to Dec. 13 but will be closed to the public

Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling says educators are spending a lot of time on cleaning protocols, which takes away from prep time and breaks. (Twitter photo from ATA)
Teachers are reporting ‘stress,’ says union

Alberta Teachers’ Association regularly surveying teachers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 9, 2020 in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be joining European Union leaders for a virtual summit, where they are expected to discuss their shared commitment to international co-operation and what that means ahead of Tuesday’s U.S presidential election. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, EU leaders meet ahead of U.S. election to reinforce support of world order

Trudeau speaking with the European Union’s two top political leaders

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Grade 3 and 4 students from St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in Innisfail spent time this week honouring Canadian veterans. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Innisfail students lay poppies to honour veterans

Grade 3 and 4 students from St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in… Continue reading

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

If you have a letter you'd like to submit to the editor for consideration, please email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. Look forward to hearing your thoughts. 
Two readers express different views on hospital worker walkout

Union members deserve more respect Re: “Yes, we know how to do… Continue reading

Email letters to editor@interior-news.com
Gift of groceries leaves couple ‘speechless’

Red Deer has got to be the No. 1 place in Alberta.… Continue reading

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Matt Berger is shown skateboarding in Huntington Beach California in this July 10, 2020 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Monster Energy, Joey Shigeo Muellner
Canadian skateboarder Matt Berger awaits his sport’s Olympic debut

Berger ranked No. 1 in Canada and 17th in the world

Most Read