BJ's Wholesale Club is planning to convert its co-branded credit card program to chip-enabled MasterCards.

The retail chain expects to complete the transition of its credit portfolio by next spring. Alliance Data, a Dallas-based provider of card services, is purchasing the portfolio for an undisclosed price and plans to transition it to EMV-chip MasterCards. BJ's currently offers magnetic-stripe Visa cards issued by Barclaycard.  

"We are confident our new credit card program will provide a value proposition that is unparalleled in the warehouse club channel," said Laura Sen, president and chief executive at BJ's Wholesale Club, in a July 29 press release.

The news follows a recent decision by Target to work with MasterCard for its new chip-and-PIN credit and debit cards, following the company's holiday season data breach. Sam's Club is also launching an EMV-based co-branded credit card program with MasterCard.

MasterCard and Visa have taken opposing views on payments security in recent years. Though both card networks are pushing a shift to EMV-chip cards, MasterCard favors using them with PINs for security, while Visa has expressed a preference for signature authentication to ease deployment.

BJ's Wholesale Club is based in Westborough, Mass., and operates 202 locations in 15 states.

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