Why credit card signature requirements are now a thing of the past

Most major credit cards are dropping the requirement to sign a receipt or bill, citing changing technology

Credit card signatures are now going the way of old-fashioned carbon copy slips: discarded in favor of streamlined transactions.

The three major credit card companies will stop requiring signatures on purchases this week, with MasterCard, American Express and Discover relaxing their policies on Friday and Visa set to do so on Saturday. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be asked to sign receipts ever again, but the change is likely to result in fewer of your John Hancocks landing on the dotted line.

The reason for the change is due to technology and changing consumer habits. Inan October blog post about the pending changes, MasterCard said that more than 4 out of 5 transactions in North America didn’t require a signature at checkout.

Getting rid of the signature requirement “is another step in the digital evolution of payment and payment security,” MasterCard executive vice president Linda Kirkpatrick wrote in the blog post.

For many years cardholders were required to sign their name when they purchased something by credit or debit card. But think about the purchases you’ve made over the past week or month. How many of them required you to sign on the dotted line? In my case, I made three quick stops on the way into work this morning and didn’t scribble my name for any of those purchases.mc_card_stndrd_5BIN_lmc

Did you know that more than 80 percent of Mastercard in store transactions in North America today do not require a cardholder signature at checkout? That number could now reach 100 percent after April 2018, when we will no longer require signatures at checkout for any credit or debit purchases in Canada and the U.S.

Eliminating the need for signature is another step in the digital evolution of payments and payment security. At first glance, this might sound like a radical proclamation, especially to people who have had credit and debit cards for decades. However, the change matches all of our expectations for fast and convenient shopping experiences. Our consumer research found that a majority of people believe it would be easier to pay and that checkout lines would move faster if they didn’t need to sign when making a purchase.

Source: Why credit card signature requirements are now a thing of the past

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