Major Card Brands to Drop Signature Requirements in April

All of the major credit cards have announced they will no longer require consumers to sign for purchases at merchant locations, a change that will take effect in April. Merchants still have the option to ask for signatures, but the cards will not require signatures as part of their merchant services.

MasterCard was the first to make the announcement back in October 2017. They cited that more than 80 percent of store transactions in North America already do not require signatures, and the change will help make shopping experiences faster and more convenient.

Discover Card followed next with their announcement in December 2017. According to a press release, the change is part of Discover’s efforts to continually improve the payment experience by speeding up the time spent at checkout all while maintaining a high level of security for both customers and merchants. Discover has already implemented a number of digital authentication technologies such as tokenization, multi-factor authentication, and biometrics that are more secure than requiring a signature and provide a more seamless payment transaction.

American Express also issued their press release in December 2017. AmEx will be eliminating the requirement for merchants to collect cardholder signatures for all purchase transactions at the point of sale beginning in April, and the change applies globally to all America Express accepting merchants.

Finally, VISA issued its blog post announcement in January. VISA will make the signature requirement optional for all EMV contact and contactless chip-enabled merchants in North America beginning in April 2018.