Initially announced a few months ago, credit card signatures are expected to be completely removed this month. Specifically, all important credit card companies are expected to start phasing out their use for confirming purchases, according to a report from WTOL.
Generally speaking, for a modern world, credit card signatures are far from being a safe and useful way of confirming identity. Basically, anybody can replicate your signature, so companies are considering additional, safer ways.
Chips, to have the same fate?
Until now, chip cards have proven to be way more effective, but we’re convinced that their days are numbered as well, since biometric technology will gain more territory, making credit card fraud almost impossible. Or at least a bit difficult to trick than faking a signature.
Mastercard is among the first companies to announce their plans of getting rid of credit card signatures.
“Soon you won’t have to sign for most purchases when you use your Mastercard! Happy Retirement to receipt signatures across the USA & Canada!” the company’s Twitter account reveals. “According to our research, most consumers are ready for this evolution,” executive Linda Kirkpatrick added.
And they are not alone in this revolution, as both Discover and American Express made similar announcements back in December, while Visa followed shortly after, in January. This will end a very long run for signatures, but it’s definitely a step forward for securing transactions.
The practice started years ago
The history of credit card signatures began when the Talmud, the historical collection of Jewish law and legal interpretations, created the rules for using signatures in trade.
“Back then there were standards. It couldn’t just be any old squiggle,” he said. “A signature was required for all manner of economic transactions. You want to buy a goat? You got to sign a document,” NPR’s Planey Money host, David Kestenbaum, explained.
He also noted that this practice eventually became standardized, while the check system was later introduced by banks, as they hired teams of people, in charge with verifying signatures.
However, even companies made these announcements, it will still take a while until restaurants, bars, or shops will stop using them.