1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Credit card companies are removing signature requirements

By midian182 · 17 replies
Apr 13, 2018
Post New Reply
  1. Starting today, three major US credit card companies—Mastercard, American Express, and Discover—are removing the requirement for a customer signature when making in-store purchases. The Verge has confirmed that Visa will be introducing the same change later this month.

    An increasingly archaic system, signatures have been getting phased out for years, mostly thanks to EMV chip and contactless payment technology. Mastercard says that more than 80 percent of in-store transactions it processes now don’t need a signature.

    Some larger retailers, including Walmart, have already stopped recording signatures on most transactions. But the credit card companies are only making them optional—it will be up to the retailers themselves whether they want to continue using the system.

    Removing the need for signatures should speed up checkout lines at stores, encourage merchants to move over to EMV, and replace signature verification with a more advanced, secure technology. The change will also eliminate the occasional requirement for a signature when purchasing items over $50 using Apple Pay.

    “The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants,” said Jaromir Divilek, executive vice president of global network business for American Express. “Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud.”

    American Express is removing the signature requirement in the US and other countries around the world, while Mastercard’s change only affects the United States and Canada. Discover users won’t be required to sign their names in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and Visa is making it optional in North America.

    Signatures are still mostly only used within the US. The majority of other countries, such as the UK, switched to chip-and-PIN authentication years ago.

    Permalink to story.

  2. LenovoX

    LenovoX TS Booster Posts: 70   +32

    What? We just touch the card on the front of the POS... a year ago! And we're eastern european
    MarkHughes, Jamlad and misor like this.
  3. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,354   +867

    Been using chip-and-PIN authentication for YEARS in Canada. Using tap, I don't even need to take the card out of my wallet lol
    Jamlad likes this.
  4. For being the leader of the free world and having SV, most of the top tech companies, and the largest economy, the US is surprisingly backwards sometimes.
  5. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 845   +349

    We need to move to Pin on credit cards, and for online orders as well. Someone can steal your card but if they don't know your pin it's pretty worthless. While they can still get the pin it just makes it that much harder on them.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,882   +3,315

    Which as much fraud that's going on out there, I'd be happy with a single swipe CC that required a matching signature and force everyone else to simply use cash. Not perfect but I've never heard of a person paying cash having their identity stolen ...... :)
  7. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 845   +349

    But I bet millions of them have had there cash stolen :D
    lostinlodos likes this.
  8. Ean Mogg

    Ean Mogg TS Enthusiast Posts: 96   +40

    I've been able to get McDonalds Chicken Legend meal by simply tapping my debit card on the card reader and they have a minimum limit that you can use so if stolen you can only use in swipe mode the minimum amount like it was £20 now it's £30,
  9. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 209   +127

    Well, this has less to do with technology and more to do with a choice by Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Visa to remove signature requirements. Even before this, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, a signature is not required when making a credit card purchase. Also note that signatures were only for credit, not debit.
  10. We've got the tech here but major retailers are reluctant to implement it. Cheaper to keep old POS tech than replace it.

    Happens all the time. Know a person with no CCs who froze her credit + other precautions who still had her identity stolen twice. You might not carry plastic, but everyone you pay bills to has records that can be used to do ID theft.

    Own or rent a home? Records.

    Own or rent a car? Records.

    Pay for utilities? Records.

    All records that are connected to networked databases (that get compromised all the time, evidently).
    senketsu and Stark like this.
  11. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Maniac Posts: 346   +229

    That's been available for a few years in the US (provided it was available in your actual credit card). But not every vendor has it available (& I'm pretty sure that happens worldwide).

    PIN authentication has been used on debit cards for a long time here as well, but it might not be a bad idea to replace the signature with a PIN requirement instead of merely eliminating it.

    As for not taking your card out of your wallet...did you remember to get a protective sleeve for it? The reason you can just wave your wallet at the reader without removing the card is because it's accessing the RFID chip in your credit card...which means that someone could walk up behind you with an RFID reader, swipe it near your wallet, & Bingo! you just got hit with an unauthorized charge. Most people don't have automatic notifications set up on their accounts, & I"m willing to bet that the majority of the ones that do have them set up also set the thresholds high enough that they're not constantly notified every time they use a soda dispenser or buy a pack of gum at the gas station.

    Having your identity stolen -- like my wife did -- means lots of time & effort spent going through credit reports to find fraudulently-opened store & credit card accounts, contacting multiple corporate fraud departments to get the charges removed, being forced to purchase credit/Dark web monitoring services, etc. And that was when we'd discovered the identity theft (complete theft, BTW: they had her name, address, driver's license #, and her SSN, thanks to the IRS's 2015 data breach) literally as she was opening a Costco membership the same day we'd decided to (& luckily only a week after she'd opened the other accounts). I'd hate to think of how much worse it had been if we'd gone weeks, months, or even years before detecting it.

    Having just your cash stolen, however, just means that you're out the cash, but that's it. You happen to have $1,000 in cash in your pocket & it drops out while you're in the restroom, you're out $1,000, but that's it. You don't have to worry about cancelling your credit cards, changing the password to your bank accounts & emails, checking your credit history, etc.
  12. Halcyon

    Halcyon TS Rookie

    It's not rocket surgery; the USA has larger population and infrastructure than many other countries. It's not easy to change all of that.
  13. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 845   +349

    Well I am sure that level of identity theft sucks, but even before we had credit cards people stole identities. People have faked being other people for personal gain for centuries, remember check theft and fraud back in the 40-60's and how serious that got. Even if you never used a credit card someone can still get your SSN and go attempt to take out a mortgage in your name.

    I thought they were talking more about the credit card being stolen and not full blown identify theft. In that case the credit card has a huge benefit over the cash. Someone steals $1000 in cash form you your out $1000, someone steals your credit card and buys $1000 worth of stuff and the credit card company is on the hook over you.

    I have a simple system I check my credit card activity and login to creditkarma every Friday afternoon, 10 min of time, no worries after, well less worries that is.

    I don't enjoy the amount of money someone can secure with a stolen identity, I think anything above $10,000 should require a person to person meeting with another form of ID that is far harder to steal, I am tempted to say fingerprints, but having every person's fingerprints on record would make millions unhappy. But even having to have a face to face meeting with the person and they have to provide major documents in person, not copies would def lower the impact of ID theft on individuals.
    Ean Mogg likes this.
  14. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,675   +567

    I don't use debit/credit cards. No pin required for #cash (y) No signature either :)
  15. baskiria

    baskiria TS Enthusiast Posts: 71   +38

    but probably you heard about their cash stolen :p
  16. Absolutely @davislane1. I know people that are afraid to use their credit card on the internet, for example to buy something from Amazon, but they have no idea that at many of the stores that they routinely use their credit cards at are all being targeted and so many have been hacked so their information could be gone already. Even if you don't use the business organizations like Equifax and TransUnion also have your information and we know what happened with Equifax.
    davislane1 likes this.
  17. willhen50

    willhen50 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    It seems like the stores beat them to it except in reverse. The clerks take the card and run it and don't even verify that the card is original. It specifically says on the signature area of all my cards CHECK ID, in place of my signature but many clerks ignore it completely. The law enforcement agencies say Credit Card fraud amounts to $billions a year, this just takes the "liability" off the clerks.
  18. lostinlodos

    lostinlodos TS Booster Posts: 140   +26

    POS In both senses.

    I laugh every time I hear someone say how credit cards are unsafe and they pay by cheque in the mail.
    Cheque, you just gave them your bank account, routing number, AND authorised signature on a single piece of paper! :facepalm:

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...