In hopes of making the checkout process faster, the big four credit card companies are limiting or eliminating policies that require you to sign for your purchases.
That’s a welcome change — that supposedly doesn’t sacrifice security — for most credit consumers who have gone through the switchover to chip-based cards over the last couple of years.
Mastercard, Discover, American Express and Visa say that chip technology has advanced anti-fraud measures sufficiently to eliminate the need for signatures. Most of them will initiate policies with limited or no signature requirements starting in April.
Here is the rundown.
Mastercard announced changes to its signature policy in October. The company said it “will no longer require signatures at checkout for any credit or debit purchases in Canada and the U.S.” starting in April.
Discover said it will “no longer require signatures at the point of sale for credit and debit transactions on the Discover Global Network in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean” starting in Apirl.
American Express will eliminate the signature requirement worldwide for all merchants that accept AmeEx, starting in April.
Visa said earlier this year that it is making the signature requirement optional for merchants that use EMV chip technology in North America, starting in April. So some businesses may opt to keep the signature policy in place.
“The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants,” Jaromir Divilek, executive vice president for Global Network Business at American Express, said in a statement. “Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud.”