Posted by William Charles on January 12, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on January 12th, 2018 | by William Charles


Visa To No Longer Require Signature During Store Checkout

Visa was the only payment network that hadn’t announced a plan to no longer require a signature during checkout at a store. Discover, Mastercard & American Express had all already announced their plans to discontinue this requirement. Today Visa announced that a signature would no longer be required starting on April 1st, 2018.

  • “Visa is committed to delivering secure, fast and convenient payments at the point of sale,” said Dan Sanford, vice president, consumer products, Visa. “Our focus is on continually evolving the market towards dynamic authentication methods such as EMV chip, as well as investing in emerging capabilities that leverage advanced analytics and biometrics. We believe making the signature requirement optional for EMV chip-enabled merchants is the responsible next step to enhance security and convenience at the point of sale.”

I’m honestly surprised it has taken Visa this long to make their announcement. Signature requirements do not help prevent fraud and are nothing more than security theater designed to make consumers feel safer than they actually are. If the payment networks were serious about reducing fraud rates then EMV chip + PIN would be mandatory. The reason they haven’t moved to mandatory PIN is because they are scared that requiring a PIN will reduce the likelihood that a card will be used (either because it slows down the transaction or because the cardholder forgets their PIN).

Given that now all four of the major payment networks have announced these changes, it’s likely that individual retailers will also stop requiring signatures when these go live (these announcements are just stating that Visa/Mastercard/Discover/American Express will no longer require a signature for fraud liability reasons, individual retailers will still be able to request a signature).

Hat tip to One Mile At A Time

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yesterday went to Costco and had to pay with Visa(the only time), was surprised that the signature was not required($150+)…

I noticed a huge sign at a few different Seattle-area Costco warehouses that lists either the amount of transactions processed by each cashier, or the amount of customers that pass through in a given point of time. I forget exactly which they measure, but nonetheless, it seems like they’re focused on getting customers through the line as fast as possible.

they should have developed a “scan & go” kind of thing like Sam’s did.
Costco is far far behind the E-commerce

I wouldn’t say they are far behind, because I think it’s a race they don’t intend to enter. Costcos around here used to have self checkout lanes for years, but then they took them all out. My understanding is that the reasoning is fraud (they claim it was done for efficiency, but it was rooted in fraud).

Self checkouts have a fraud issue. Studies have been done with this and plenty of people who would not otherwise steal from a store would knowing steal from a self checkout. A local radio talk show covered the issue a few years back and people were calling in sharing their experiences, and it was absolutely amazing listening to all the justifications people would give for stealing via self-checkout.

A core part of Costco’s business model is eliminating fraud. I suspect scan-and-go probably has a higher theft rate like self checkouts do, and not something Costco will ever implement.

I watched a YouTube video (Vice news or something) on rehabilitating inmates who have been behind bars for nearly life sentences through using VR. They got to interact with the modern day grocery store compared to decades ago for them. One of the inmates first questions to the maker of the program about the self checkout was ppl actually do this and they actually trust them!!! I laughed since he asked it innocently.

They had that in the Costco near me for about a year, but then took them out. Now they have 4 or so self-checkouts in addition to the cashiers. I’m not sure why they took out the scan guns, but I’d imagine too many people trying to steal.

Would be nice if costco had an express checkout. But they won’t do it. They want to force customers to buy as much as possible.

Wouldn’t be surprised if their union contract limits company from having self-checkout.

Been a way for many years

I’ve never been required to provide a signature at Costco with my Citi Visa or even when they were taking AmEx

Costco has always seemed to have a significantly higher no-signature-required limit than other vendors. I always suspected this was partially due to the membership requirement (if something happened to cause your payment to fail after the fact, they’ve got the info necessary to track you down).

Likewise, when the new credit card chip requirement began, all of the other stores were taking an eternity for the chip payment to complete. Yet costco’s systems were processing them extremely fast. I was wondering how nobody else could seem get their systems to be anywhere near as fast as costco. It had me wondering if costco wasn’t actually processing a chip transaction but simply getting your card number via the chip and processing it the old fashioned way. Yes, that would leave costco on the hook for any fraud, but once again, their business model has a way of dealing with that.

I cannot wait for the day when I no longer have to sign (with an option for a tip) at a fast casual restaurant. Why the hell would I tip when no service was provided? Just gives them the chance to fill in something on the tip line if someone leaves that line blank.

I always put a line through the tip field if not leaving a tip due to picking up food.

I have never had anyone fill in the tip line when left blank at those places.

You people that draw lines through the tip line are way too paranoid if you think everyone is out to defraud you.

It has happened to me multiple times over the years where cashiers will put in a small tip amount. It’s usually only $2-3 so not worth pursuing, but it’s annoying nonetheless.

This was my thought exactly. I feel like I’m being shamed into giving a tip. I bet the food establishments will keep requiring a signature for this reason.

I never sign anyway, just draw a line… when I have time a draw a cock and balls.

Great tip. DoC should do a writeup of these things.

thats so funny because i also draw a kak and an open mouth…

I practice 2-second doodles on the signature fields. Today, I paid for salad with a hastily scribbled Nike logo.

Life goal. Must do this next time!

A smiley face would work too… A signature, whatever form you choose that to be… was supposed to represent the act of acknowledging or consenting to the transaction. But, it’s not worth the banks time to investigate a signature, so why collect it?

So anyway… I will join your effort of drawing something… Maybe my own Gadget? {)–oOo-(}

Hit Read More to see my long-windedness in its full splendor. Security theatre indeed! My “signature” is just scribbles because it hasn’t mattered for decades. Think of the paper i.e. trees that could be saved! Working as a bartender and living in Las Vegas, the service i.e. tipping capitol of the world, I was amazed to see that we require not only a signature, but a printed name as well. I tell people all the time that the signature/printed name lines don’t even matter, just put a scribble down. I’ve only been to 1 restaurant in the whole city that used the wi-fi, European-style, handheld POS systems, and it was great, which is why I can’t believe it isn’t in more restaurants! My EMV chip card didn’t leave my hand, I was still able to add a tip on the screen of the POS and I didn’t have to sign a piece of paper while also saying no to a paper receipt of my own. Fantastic! As for people’s thoughts on tipping and the signature line, etc. Regardless of whether you draw a line through the tip line on the paper receipt OR put $0 on the POS terminal, it is still up to the cashier/bartender to CLOSE-OUT that AUTHORIZED ONLY check. So if a cashier, server, bartender really wanted to defraud you by adding more tip for themselves or adding another item onto your bill but then keeping it for themselves they totally could. It is up to the consumer to keep track of how much they spent in each transaction and report fraud if they see it. My personal way of making fraud easy to spot in my own personal finances, is that every restaurant that I go to, I always make the bill total (subtotal+tax+tip) a whole number and I’ll usually round it to a multiple of 5 i.e. $60, $65, $70, etc. I won’t even write anything in the TIP line and just write in the TOTAL line because the POS terminal can do the math for the server/bartender/cashier. I don’t eat out so much that I wouldn’t be able to remember “around” what I spent at restaurant X. So if I ever see a total that isn’t a whole number or a multiple of 5, I’ll know that something is up and report. But by and large, as a bartender, I don’t defraud people BECAUSE… Read more »

William Charles DoC, I just found a deal in Ralphs. Buy Ralphs Prepaid Visa Card with $3 purchase fee and direct deposit $1000 by 04/30/18, get $30 bonus added to balance.

@fred Looks like you need a tax refund onto the card, not just any direct deposit

Yep, as pointed out this is just security theater. It’s ridiculous to think a cashier is some type of handwriting expert. This move is long overdue. As far as the PIN is concerned – I believe it would offer an additional level of security – but considering the expense of implementation and the other techniques for verification being developed and used – I can understand why now it just isn’t cost effective. On another related topic… I noticed that Texas passed a law that says that merchants “may” ask for photo id before accepting a credit card – to the objections of the card networks. Main reason being, it’s a security risk. When you take out your photo id, you’re exposing yourself to someone misappropriating the information. Not to mention that apparently the contracts with the card providers still take precedent.

No one checks signatures anymore at the cashier when comparing your card’s signature to the pin pad! That left decades ago. At least visa got that right.

My wife and I each had transactions over $1K at Walmart over the past week, paid for with Visa cards and no signature required.

Visa didn’t say April 1 in the cited artilcle

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