Starting April 14, four major credit card issuers will no longer require for you to sign for all in-person purchases done with a credit or debit card. Now, it’s up to the stores to decide if they will still require a signature for a payment made via a Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or AmEx card.
According to a New York Times report, very few retailers will still require the signatures. Walmart has already said that a signature is “worthless” when making a purchase with a chip-based card or digital token.
Target also said that it plans to remove the requirement by the end of the month. Other merchants expect the signature for credit card purchases to go extinct before long.
Credit card issuers and retailers have clung to the signatures because chip-based cards needed years to become popular with Americans. Also, signatures were required for security reasons.
Signatures for Purchases Needed for Security Reasons
What’s more, retailers were also able to verify purchases when customers made contradictory claims. However, only very large transactions should require a signature, some experts claim.
The main reason credit card owners have been required to sign for a purchase was to prove their identity. When you are making a credit card payment, your signature is the only way the seller can prove that you authorized the purchase and not anyone else.
Also, you are required to sign on the back of your credit card for merchants to verify that that signature matches the one on the receipt. If the signatures don’t match a thief must have shopped on your behalf and you could dispute a charge.
If you dispute the charge, the credit card issuer asks the retailer to offer a receipt with your signature on it. If the retailer fails to provide the evidence, you can get a refund.
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