January 16, 2018
U.S. Credit Card Issuers to Finally Phase Out Required Signatures
In April of 2018, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and most recently, Visa, will be eliminating their requirement to collect signatures on transactions made with chip-enabled technology. Chip-enabled cards (EMV) and mobile payment options have become a secure way to pay in recent years, and card issuers are stating that signatures are no longer needed in the fight against fraud. According to a statement made by Visa, “Less than two years since EMV chip launched in the U.S., fraud declined 66 percent at EMV chip-enabled merchants.”1
This is great news for merchants across the country. A signature can take a few additional seconds in a transaction. A few seconds does not seem like a lot, but this time and potential lost revenue adds up over the course of a busy day, week, month, and year. Not to mention the additional costs a merchant might payassociated with keeping a record of signatures.2
Large brick and mortar retailers in the U.S., like Wal-Mart, have been fighting to remove the signature requirement for some time. Unlike online shopping where a signature is not required, traditional retailers face high transaction fees associated with the requirement of a signature for debit cards as opposed to only requiring a PIN.
Merchants will still have the choice to continue collecting signatures on chip enabled transactions if they choose. Note that some jurisdictions might be required by law to still collect signatures.3Credit cards without a chip and merchants without chip readers will still be required to provide and collect signatures.4