Published on December 11th, 2017 | by Chuck17
Amex to Stop Requiring Signature during Store Checkout, Joins Mastercard and Discover
American Express announced today that they’ll be eliminating the requirement for merchants to collect signatures at store checkout beginning April 2018. Mastercard and Discover made similar announcements, all with the same April 2018 timeline for implementation.
The card networks are quick to point out that they have the security framework in place to ensure all transactions are valid without the signature requirement.
Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud. In addition, the majority of American Express transactions today already do not require a signature at the point of sale as a result of previous policy changes we made to help our merchants.
The need for signatures has declined around the world due to a number of advancements in the payments industry. These include the growth of contactless payment options, including card-based and mobile tap-and-pay methods, the global adoption of EMV chip technology, and the continued expansion of online commerce. American Express has also deployed advanced machine learning algorithms that allow for more precise detection of fraud while minimizing disruption of Card Members’ genuine spending.
Interestedly, Amex says they the first to announce the change globally since the other networks limited the change to USA and select other areas (though in many other countries signatures are already uncommon). Amex also notes that the new rule will apply to purchase transactions of all amounts.
Once Mastercard and Discover announced their decision, it was only a matter of time until Amex and Visa would join. We’ll see when Visa jumps on the ship. A larger question is whether individual retailers will take steps to eliminate the signature requirement from the checkout process. If Visa joins, it’s safe to assume it’ll happen fast since it saves them cashier time and impatient customers.