The end of credit card signatures, to affect small businesses?

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Recently, we were reporting about major credit card brands in the United States dropping signatures when making purchases, as they are planning to upgrade to EMV chips, due to security reasons.

Credit card signatures are far from being secure and haven’t been effective in a long time, so this decision doesn’t come as a surprise. Therefore, issuers want to do something in this direction. But what impact could this have on small businesses?

Q2 2018, the beginning of the end for credit card signatures?

Visa, American Express, Discover, Master Card…all of them are planning to ditch credit card signatures until April 2018. From then on, they will add individual rules or relaxing current rules for signatures, says Nasdaq.

Of course, not all of these rules will go away instantly or all at the same time, but starting with Q2 of 2018, you should expect not being asked to give your signature at checkout.

Visa reports that in the United States the fraud at merchants using the EMV chip has fallen two-thirds. Still, this is not actually great news, since other countries have been using this technology for more than 10 years. On the other side, these countries use a chip and PIN code checkout, similar to how debit card PIN numbers are checked out nowadays.

Expect to see signatures out there for a while, despite the announcement

The same credit card company, Visa, which also happens to be the biggest on the market, the credit card signatures won’t be going away completely, as some merchants will have to decide on their own if they still want to use it.

Merchants with an active chip reading terminal though will be exempt from signatures. This means that stores and checkouts that don’t accept chips will still need to ask for credit card signatures for most purchases made there.

If you ask us, this is just one small step forward. In a few years, credit cards will completely disappear, as users will rely just on their phones and services like Android Pay or Apple Pay. However, there’s still some time left until then, but at least nobody will ask for credit card signatures anymore!

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