Mastercard, Discover and Amex Ending Signature Requirement for Purchases Tomorrow, Visa to Follow Later This Month

Starting tomorrow, the major credit card companies in the United States are officially eliminating the signature requirement for purchases, marking an end to a long running but increasingly unnecessary policy.

American Express, Visa, Discover, and Mastercard first announced plans to end credit card signatures late last year, but have now confirmed to The Verge that the policy change will go into effect starting on April 13. American Express, Mastercard, and Discover all plan to stop requiring signatures tomorrow, while Visa plans to follow later in the month.

Credit and debit card companies have long required signatures for purchases as an added security measure, but with technology improvements that include contactless payments and the adoption of EMV chip technology, signatures are an outdated authentication method.

Officially eliminating signatures when making a purchase will allow for a more consistent, streamlined, and speedy checkout experience for both merchants and cardholders. It should also streamline the Apple Pay experience in the United States, as a signature can on occasion be required for purchases over $50 when using Apple Pay, a step that will be eliminated when the signature changes become official.

American Express plans to end the signature requirement in the United States and other countries around the world, while Mastercard will eliminate it in the United States and Canada. Discover plans to end signatures in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and Visa is making signatures optional in North America for companies that offer chip systems.

All merchants continue to be able to collect signatures if required to do so by an applicable law in a particular jurisdiction.

Top Rated Comments

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32 months ago
Now we just need to end the scourge of swiping a magnetic strip. Oh, and make all these contactless systems be unified in some way so we can use our ApplePay, googlePay, etc. without the gamesmanship. And eliminate the silly QR barcode payment crap.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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32 months ago
It's about time. No one checks for signatures anyway.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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32 months ago
I can't believe this is the way Americans pay for stuff. Crazy.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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32 months ago

What’s the QR barcode payment? Haven’t come across that.

WalMart Pay is an example of a QR-based payment solution. It’s goofy and REALLY slow as you have to open the app, wait for it to load the store info, authenticate with WalMart pay, and then scan the code. Really awful workflow.

https://www.walmart.com/cp/walmart-pay/3205993

They claim it’s faster than reaching for your wallet. BS. It’s just as slow as reaching for your wallet and your wallet doesn’t require the extra steps!

Better solutions are already here. Time to consolidate, simplify, and make more secure/efficient.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
I'm sad about this.

For many years I have enjoyed travelling to America and being asked to sign when I use my credit card.

It's like travelling back in time.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
I've seen this discussion before but never really understood it fully to be honest.

I'm from Europe and here we use PIN-codes. Is that replacing the signatures or will there be no verification at all?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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