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Visa Dropping Signature Requirement for Chip Cards and Apple Pay Starting in April

Visa today announced it will eliminate its signature requirement for EMV payments beginning April 2018 in the United States and Canada.

The change will apply to both chip-and-signature credit and debit cards, and contactless payment solutions like Apple Pay when linked to a Visa credit or debit card. The change is designed to allow for a more consistent, streamlined, and quicker checkout experience for both merchants and cardholders.

For years, customers have been required to sign the receipt when making a purchase to verify they own the debit or credit card they are attempting to use. A cashier is supposed to match the signature on the receipt against the one on the back of the card, but in reality, this process is often skipped nowadays.

Currently, even when using Apple Pay, a signature can be required on occasion for purchases over $25 made with a Visa card in the United States. But with EMV technology and other modern safeguards, Visa is now moving to fully eliminate this requirement, in line with Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.

The signature requirement is already much less common in Canada, where customers insert their chip card into a payment terminal and verify ownership by entering a four-digit PIN. You also can't use contactless payments for transactions over $100 in Canada (update: excluding American Express — thanks Gary Ng!)

Visa says its partners have deployed EMV-chip enabled readers at more than 2.5 million locations around the world. Less than two years since the technology launched in the United States, counterfeit fraud declined 66 percent at EMV-chip enabled merchants, according to the company.

Merchants will remain able to collect signatures if required to do so by an applicable law in a particular jurisdiction.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Visa

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

20 months ago
As if retailers or anyone else for that matter check for a signature LOL
Rating: 22 Votes
20 months ago
FINALLY. now if only Americans got chip and PIN cards instead of chip and signature so I could use them in other countries without worrying it won’t work, especially while trying to buy a train ticket at a machine that requires a PIN. Often my card will get rejected for needing a signature and I have to try to find a manned ticket counter. Not all subway stations HAVE manned ticket counters and then I’m SOL
Rating: 13 Votes
20 months ago
Progress! Finally!
Rating: 10 Votes
20 months ago
Meanwhile, in Germany...

“Hey Apple”
“When do we get Apple-Pay?”

Rating: 8 Votes
20 months ago

MasterCard can follow suit any time now...

They already announced it back in October. Also for April.
Rating: 6 Votes
20 months ago
Thank God. It's so embarrassing being anywhere outside of the US, when everyone else just pays and walks away, but all the Americans have to sign a slip, and the clerks have to dig out a pen. Some countries are better sports about it than others. But it definitely emphasizes who's an American and who isn't at a time when the US international reputation isn't exactly at it's best.
Rating: 4 Votes
20 months ago

Pin and Chip like the rest of the world.

I think perhaps this is the slow march towards that here in the US. First eliminate the signature because no one even checks anymore anyway. And then later as "added protection against fraud" require PINs like the rest of the world.
Rating: 4 Votes
20 months ago
When do we get wireless chips in the CC, similar to Apple pay? Just touch the card reader with the card and payment done. It's already available in Europe all over the place.
Rating: 4 Votes
20 months ago
America Last
Rating: 4 Votes
20 months ago

A cashier is supposed to match the signature on the receipt against the one on the back of the card, but in reality, this process is often skipped nowadays.

Often? Nowadays? More like, never checked, ever, for decades.
Rating: 4 Votes

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