American Express Is Eliminating Signature Requirements

Dec 11, 2017

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One of the world’s largest credit card issuers is doing away with what was once a hallmark of the credit card experience. Monday, American Express announced that it would be eliminating signature requirements from its cards globally. Starting April 2018, whenever an Amex customer swipes their card, they will no longer need to sign a receipt for the merchant.

Amex says signatures, originally a way to fight fraud, have become irrelevant to credit card security.

“The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants,” said Jaromir Divilek, an Amex EVP, in a statement. “Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud. In addition, the majority of American Express transactions today already do not require a signature at the point of sale as a result of previous policy changes we made to help our merchants.”

Advances in technology like chip, contactless payments (i.e. Apple Pay) and more people shopping online were a few of the reasons for the policy change.

In October Mastercard said it would be doing away with the signature requirement, and just days ago Discover said it was doing the same. Amex had already dropped signatures for transactions under $50. Merchants will still have the ability to accept a signature, especially since it’s required by law in some places.

Visa is now the last major credit card company to require signatures for in-person purchases.

Featured image by Tetra Image / Getty Images. 

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