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

Banking

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

Just Posted

Andre Lemus, the owner of Las Palmeras in Red Deer, says he hopes in-person dining restrictions are lifted this upcoming Thursday. (Photo courtesy www.laspalmeras.ca)
Red Deer restaurant owner hopes in-person dining restrictions are lifted Thursday

The owner of a Red Deer restaurant says business has “dropped” since… Continue reading

The Town of Ponoka and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have ratified a new agreement, averting a strike. (File photo from Facebook)
Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP, EMS, Search and Rescue, STARS air ambulance and Alstrom Helicopters worked together to rescue a fallen ice climber Friday. (Photo contributed by Rocky Mountain House RCMP)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP help rescue fallen ice climber

Rocky Mountain RCMP helped assist a fallen ice climber Friday afternoon. At… Continue reading

Students Association of Red Deer College president Brittany Lausen says she’s pleased the college is offering students a choice to attend class in-person or remotely. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Red Deer College winter term enrolment dips

Enrolment down about six per cent but mix of online and in-person instruction is going over well

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Body of worker whose bulldozer fell through ice on inactive tailings pond recovered

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a… Continue reading

A restaurant manager in Orlando used a sign to secretly ask an 11-year-old boy if he needs help from his family after they were spotted withholding food from him. (Photo courtesy Orlando Police Department)
WATCH: Restaurant manager uses secret note to ‘rescue’ child, says Orlando Police

The manager of an Orlando restaurant is receiving praise from police after… Continue reading

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will cripple struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Quebec and Ontario, the two provinces hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A young snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged mountain trail on Vancouver's north shore Thursday has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Snowshoer dies after overnight search on Vancouver-area mountain: RCMP

SQUAMISH, B.C. — A snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged… Continue reading

nunavut
‘It was joyous:’ Sun returns to some Nunavut communities for first time in weeks

IQALUIT — A sliver of orange rose over Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, earlier… Continue reading

People take photos through the extensive security surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Susan Walsh
Less pomp, very different circumstances as D.C. prepares to inaugurate Biden, Harris

WASHINGTON — Some pomp. Very different circumstances. Inauguration day is supposed to… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Nathan Beaulieu (88) and Nikolaj Ehlers (27) defend against Jansen Harkins (12) during scrimmage at their NHL training camp practice in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Winnipeg Jets cancel practice due to possible COVID-19 exposure

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have cancelled their practice today due to… Continue reading

Most Read