Discover Drops Signature Requirement at Checkout

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Credit card company Discover is the latest to announce that it will not require customers to provide a signature at the point of sale for debit and credit card transactions, beginning April 2018.

This change comes as part of the financial industry’s growing efforts to improve the payment experience to provide convenience and efficiency to both consumers and merchants.

Vice President of Global Products Innovation at Discover, Jasma Ghai, said in a press release that Discover aims to “(provide) customers and merchants with a smooth and more secure payments experience. 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.”

Recent technology and security features in the payments industry have prompted this change, namely EMV chip cards and the Freeze It tool from Discover that allows cardholders to “freeze” their card account if it is lost or misplaced. These solutions ensure that customers’ security and personal data will not be compromised.

The removal of a required signature from customers will likely come as welcome news to Discover’s customers. It has become increasingly rare for customers to include their actual signature when signing for a transaction, and the process itself provides very little security (far less security than other measures taken by credit card companies, merchants, and consumers).

These changes may impact merchants, as well. For business owners who wish to offer their customers this service, an update to their POS systems may be required. Considering how long it took retailers to overhaul their POS systems when EMV chip cards became the norm, it’s not likely that signatures a going to be a thing of the past anytime soon. Overall, however, this move by Discover is positive and will result in faster checkout speeds when merchants accept credit cards.

In a similar move, MasterCard also announced this year that their cardholders would no longer be required to sign for purchases made with credit or debit cards.

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