Just weeks away: Credit cards to skip signatures | finder.com

Just weeks away: Credit cards to skip signatures for in-store transactions

Georgina Littlejohn 13 March 2018 NEWS

Visa and Mastercard among those doing away with the need for consumers to sign receipts.

Visa has joined other major credit card companies in a plan to eliminate the need for customers to sign for their purchases.

Along with Mastercard, American Express and Discover, the companies will end the requirement that consumers sign receipts for in-store transactions beginning next month.

Instead, chip technology will be used as the primary security feature that the companies hope will make the checkout process quicker and more convenient.

Signatures are starting to become obsolete in this modern age, and the credit card industry is evolving as more and more people shop online.

Fewer customers are signing for purchases, and many people forget to sign the back of their cards – even if they do, it’s highly unlikely the cashier will compare it with the signature on the receipt.

This has forced credit card issuers to adopt new technologies to increase security.

This includes multifactor authentication, tokenization, biometrics and machine-learning algorithms designed to spot fraudulent transactions.

Mastercard, for example, has been testing the use of fingerprints as a biometric verification tool.

And Discover offers an additional layer of security with its Freeze It® feature, which allows cardholders to instantly stop payments if their card is lost or stolen.

Visa reports that within two years of first launching chip technology, fraud has declined 66% at stores that use EMV chip technology to process payments.

The signature requirement will be eliminated across the United States, but if customers travel to Europe or Asia, they still may be required to sign.

The signature requirement for American Express cards will be eliminated globally, with Discover following suit.

Once April arrives and the requirement is officially removed, merchants will still have a say in whether customers will need to sign, but as our previous coverage noted, many merchants have supported its removal.

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