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No Need to Sign

At the checkout line, many of us sign away without thinking twice about the purpose or effectiveness of this identifier. If merchants were checking for signatures it would add a level of security, but unfortunately as it is today the signature is often left unchecked and there is no value in using it. Credit card companies have added new and improved digital authentication technologies such as tokenization, multifactor authentication and biometrics that are more secure than requiring a signature and provide a more seamless payment transaction.

Soon signing your name on payment slips and checkout terminals may be a thing of the past:

  • Mastercard, announced in October that it would make cardholder signatures optional effective April 13th in the U.S. and Canada for in-store credit and debit purchases.

  • Discover announced on Dec. 6, that it, too, would abandon the signature requirement.

  • American Express announced Dec. 11 that it will drop the signature requirement globally by April.

  • Visa posted on January 12th that it will make the signature requirement optional for all EMV contact or contactless chip-enabled merchants in North America, beginning April 2018.

Merchants will still have the option of asking for a signature, but the requirement will be waived by the end of April. Fraud capabilities have advanced meaning that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud.

Removing this step at checkout will save time for customers and decrease the expense associated with storing and presenting signatures back to the issuer, all while preserving security for customers.

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