Consumers accustomed to signing for credit card purchases will soon see a change. Starting on April 14, Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover are doing away with the requirement that shoppers sign receipts for credit and debit sales. Some merchants may still require signatures but the credit card companies themselves are dropping the stipulation that shoppers provide their autograph.
Mastercard announced the change late last year, effective in April.
“While security remains paramount, we know that convenience is also a large part of what consumers want when they are shopping and paying. Removing the need for a signature is a change our merchant partners support,” Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president of MasterCard’s U.S. market development division, wrote in a blog post. “The move will help merchants speed customers through checkout, provide more consistent experiences for every customer with every purchase and should decrease costs associated with safely storing signatures.”
Kirkpatrick said research showed most people believed doing away with the signature requirement would speed up the check-out process.
Industry officials said the change in requirements is made possible due to improvements in card security – particularly chip-embedded cards. According to Visa, the company saw sharp declines in counterfeit credit card fraud after the launch of chip-embedded cards in 2015.
Visa said chip-enabled merchants have seen a 66 percent decline in frequency of counterfeit card fraud occurrences over the last two years, as well as a 58 percent decline in counterfeit fraud losses.