Mastercard will no longer require signatures for in-person transactions effective May 1, 2018.
Did you know that more than 80 percent of Mastercard in store transactions in North America today do not require a cardholder signature at checkout? That number could now reach 100 percent after April 2018, when we will no longer require signatures at checkout for any credit or debit purchases in Canada and the U.S.
With “chip, tokenization, biometrics and specialized digital platforms” signatures are just no longer a part of credit card security, not that they provided much before.
Signatures add transaction time. There’s paper slips that you either take away or ask the clerk to toss for you. (Remember when full credit card numbers used to be printed on those slips you’d throw away?)
It’s a very small percentage of credit card fraud which involves in-person transactions using a physical stolen credit card. And even when that happens, clerks don’t compare signatures with what’s on the back of your card, rejecting transactions if the two don’t match.
Credit card numbers are stolen en masse. Cards get cloned (harder with chips than before). Orders are placed online or by phone.
A signed slip was protection for the merchant at least in theory, you’re agreeing to the purchase and to make payment for it, and if you dispute the charge they can say you actually did agree. But disputes rarely ever come down to a signature or are about claims of whether or not you actually were the one who made the transaction.
This won’t affect disputes. This won’t really affect security, and consumers shouldn’t much care if it did (replacing a card is a hassle, but you’re not usually going to be liable for anything if there’s fraud anyway).
It’s a win for consumers and if MasterCard is doing it other payment networks will need to follow. Otherwise Mastercard will become my preferred card for in-person swipes.
No doubt signing with Mastercards will still continue in establishments that want tips, you get presented with a slip then for the purpose of voluntarily adding more money to the bill. If Mastercard could get rid of the U.S. tipping culture then that would be something.
(HT: Doctor of Credit)