Like it or not, EMV chips are the next thing in credit card security. Commonplace in the United Kingdom since at least 2010, the tech is slowly but surely gaining ground in the United States and elsewhere. By combining it with a manually entered PIN, the system provides several layers of security. Still, many card companies in the U.S., Mexico, and parts of both South America and Asia still use the less convenient chip and signature model, which requires customers to sign their name to receipts the old-fashioned way. However, it seems credit card companies are finally catching up and are phasing out this antiquated security paradigm.
American credit card companies American Express, Discover, and MasterCard are leading the charge in 2018 by removing the requirement of signing receipts for credit card purchases. MasterCard announced their plans to remove the annoying requirement back in October, while American Express revealed their plans to stop signature confirmation just this week. All three companies will officially suspend the practice in April of 2018. Meanwhile Visa, second only to China UnionPay in terms of transaction volume, has yet to announce any plans to remove signature confirmation.
Unsurprisingly, American Express specifically cited the development of security chips as a reason for canceling the procedure. They also referenced the growing supremacy of online shopping. Given that e-commerce has continued to grow about 23 percent each year, factoring in consumer shopping habits is a wise judgement on their part. Unlike their competitors, American will be removing signatures as a requirement globally, meaning cardholders with Discover or MasterCard outside the U.S. will still be expected to sign.