The card networks have agreed, starting in April 2018 MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and Visa will no longer require signatures for credit card transactions that use chip or contactless payment solutions. While the transition to EMV chip and contactless payments has not been required, those merchants who have updated their terminals to this technology can benefit by not requiring signatures from their customers. Merchants will still have the option of asking for a signature, but the requirement will no longer be in place.
The card networks have seen a decrease in fraud with the rollout of EMV-ready technology of both terminals and cards. Additionally, fraud fighting and tracking capabilities have greatly improved. These advancements and the general consensus that merchants are not actively comparing signatures on receipts to the back of the card or photo identification, have led to the removal of the signature requirement.
How will this really work?
The change may take some time for consumers and merchants to get used to. The many years of card transactions and signing the receipt is a hard habit to break, and it will take time to do so. Consumers may still feel the need to sign, and merchants may still want signatures on receipts, especially on higher sales transactions. The benefit for all is a faster checkout experience. One of the complaints about the EMV chip transactions is that they take longer to process. This process has improved, and now the removal of signing the receipt will allow transactions to be completed faster which will shorten checkout lines.
As consumers become more accustomed to not signing a receipt, the rollout of EMV chip technology will increase, as they will expect the functionality from the merchant and their card issuer. So, those merchants or card issuers who have not converted may feel pressure to complete the upgrade. Further rollout of EMV technology will further reduce fraud in the face to face environment.
Jennifer Autian is the founder of TCA Business Solutions and an independent representative of merchant services. To learn more about EMV technology or explore other payment processing options, connect with her at 678-523-8760 or by email at Jennifer@tcabiz.com.