American Express, Discover and MasterCard, have all recently announced that they will no longer require signatures for in-store purchases beginning in April 2018. Discover will remove the signature requirement for in-person transactions in the United States, Canada and Mexico, while MasterCard will no longer require signatures on U.S. and Canadian card-present transactions. American Express’s move affects in-person transactions worldwide.
All three card brands cite consumers’ desire for a more consistent and speedier in-store checkout experience among their reasons for making this move. In their press release MasterCard stated, “Our consumer research found that a majority of people believe it would be easier to pay, and that checkout lines would move faster, if they didn’t need to sign when making a purchase.”
According to the card brands, the need for signatures has been declining thanks to payments advancements such as contactless offerings, the global adoption of EMV chip card technology and the continued expansion of e-Commerce.
AmEx Executive Vice President of Global Network Business, Jaromir Divilek, stated “Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud.”
Additionally, Discover has commented that by embracing several other digital authentication technologies, such as tokenization, multi-factor authentication and biometrics, they are able to provide a more secure and seamless payment transaction without requiring a signature.
With these recent announcements, Visa remains the only major card-brand that has not revealed plans to remove the signature requirement on U.S.-based, in-person transactions.