The beginning of the end of the credit card signature has started. Last week, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express announced that they will no longer require signatures for in-store purchases. Many retailers may still want to use signatures to verify purchases for their own reasons, but the card brands no longer require or value credit card signatures.
Why are credit card signatures going away?
The advent of the smartphone and computer have led to the decline of checks and handwritten letters in addition to physical signatures. Credit card companies also want to bring convenience along with increased security and speed to the point of sale. The removal of credit card signatures represent progress to further encourage the industry’s migration to EMV chip card acceptance.
In 2015, the US started to implement and accept EMV chip cards to add another layer of security to protect against credit card fraud. Europe had been using chip cards for years in addition to Chip-and-PIN authentication, which requires a four digit PIN to verify the transaction. None of the major card brands have announced whether or not they will implement Chip-and-PIN authentication just yet. So, we'll have to wait and see as to what's next.