Changes to Credit Card Signature Requirements You Should Know

Pretty soon, you may not have to sign on the line for your credit card purchases. At least if you’re using Discover. Along with American Express, Discover has announced they will no longer require cardholder signatures for transactions made at the point-of-sale across its card network.

American Express has launched the initiative globally for its cardholders. MasterCard made a similar announcement in October, releasing merchants from requiring signatures at the point-of-sale for its Canadian and US starting in April 2018. The change for Discover cardholders will be valid for purchases made in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and is effective April 13, 2018.

Advances in payment security are to thank. Jasma Ghai, vice president of Global Product Innovation at Discover states, “With the rise in new payment security capabilities, like chip technology and tokenization, the time is right to remove this step from the checkout experience.”

2017 has been a huge year for payment security. With EMV-enabled point-of-sale systems becoming the standard according to EMVCo, the consortium comprised of equal share across Visa, MasterCard, JCB, American Express, China UnionPay and Discover, businesses are becoming more enabled to offer the highest security standards when accepting credit card payments.

PCI-compliance also continues to evolve both with credit card and ACH payments, as reflected with faster processing times due to the power of same-day ACH and an industry-wide push for Pin-On-Glass transactions. More businesses are able to lower their PCI scope (and retain the highest level of PCI compliance) by utilizing a payment gateway to connect as the front-end connection to the card brands. Choosing a payment gateway that has a well-established PCI compliance program (like Forte does) can spell big savings and reduce your financial risk in the long run.

The latest changes to credit card signature requirements means faster times through checkout for both the consumer and the merchant. There are a few more elements to the change, though. The requirement only applies to face-to-face transactions, and issuers will no longer be able to dispute a transaction for failure to obtain a signature. Also, merchants may continue to request a signature if they desire.

The initiative is another step forward for streamlining point-of-sale transactions. Advances in security across the payments industry means more merchants can confidently perform transactions at the speed in which consumers expect them. More changes are anticipated to extend across other card brands as time goes on.

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