Credit Card Companies Will No Longer Require a Signature

Apr 13, 2018

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Starting Friday, some of the biggest credit card companies will no longer require a signature at store checkouts in the US.

The changes were announced several months ago by Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express, saying that no signature would be required beginning in early April 2018. Mastercard announced it would officially ditch the electronic signature starting Friday. American Express and Discover are also retiring the signature on Friday, with Visa expected to make the change later in April.

Even though the companies are nixing the signature, don’t expect to see them disappear from your check-out process overnight. While the credit card companies won’t require a signature, individual stores and chains get to decide whether they want your John Hancock. Bigger chains like Target and Walmart are planning to get rid of them by the end of April, while smaller chains might have more trouble replacing their sales systems that quickly.

Also, the signature requirement might pop up as you travel. While American Express is eliminating its signatures around the world, Visa is only axing its requirement for stores with pin-and-chip card systems in North America. Discover is going signature-free in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, and Mastercard is only eliminating it in the US and Canada.

Advances in payment technology, like pin-and-chip readers and contactless payments (like Apple Pay), are some of the reasons behind the change. Companies are also using updated security techniques to stop fraud. Discover, for instance, uses digital authentication technologies such as tokenization, multi-factor authentication and biometrics, which it says are far more secure than an in-person signature.

H/T: Doctor of Credit

Featured photo by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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