Credit card giant Discover recently announced it will no longer require signatures from customers using their cards when they are paying in the checkout line. The change in protocol will begin April 2018.
Discover isn’t the first in this trend. Many other credit card companies, like Mastercard, have also pulled the plug on the signature requirement as well. The argument in favor of dropping signatures relies on the fact there are more updated methods of identity authentication, like personal identification numbers (PIN).
What Good Is a Signature?
As statistics might indicate, requiring credit card signatures isn’t necessarily an effective fraud safeguard. Many customers have been the victim of identity theft in stores all over the country, and the credit card signature feature hasn’t been touted as a major block against fraud. If it was, then there may not have been a need to develop EMV chip security. On top of that, in some shopping venues, like online shopping, signatures aren’t required.
What Other Methods Are Used for Identification?
With signatures becoming a dinosaur in the credit card world, companies have devised other ways to keep their customers’ cards and identities safe. The dropping of the required signature won’t come as a shock to customers who are used to adapting with the changing times and payment methods when using credit cards in stores.
Discover has employed several of these new methods to enhance security for their customers.
With chip cards for instance, consumers have had to make adjustments in recent times. Chip cards, when used along with PINs, have earned a reputation as being one of the safest ways for customers to make transactions. They have features that make card cloning more difficult for would-be criminals. On top of that, you insert them instead of swiping (a pivotal change in this writer’s opinion).
Other Payment Methods Gaining Traction
Newer methods of payment, many of them mobile, are beginning to revolutionize the old ways of paying, much like the traditional credit card did when it started surging in popularity over paying with checks.
P2P apps like Venmo have surged in popularity, whether it’s for online shopping or wiring some cash to friends when they need some in a pinch. P2P payments, also known as person-to-person transactions or peer-to-peer transactions, can be sent through apps on mobile devices or on personal computers.
With Venmo, you can link your debit card or bank account to your Venmo account to allow you to make quick and easy payments.
With smartphones being so prevalent now, bill splitting and P2Ps are becoming more commonplace. On top of that, mobile payment methods are starting to make their way to the cashier’s table during regular transactions. Because of their ease of use, their popularity is skyrocketing. But like credit card companies, these payment methods can also fall victim to theft.
Author: Mike Brown
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