Signatures: You Can Leave Home Without Them at American Express

by Brian Riley 0

Vector Credit Card blue icon Isolated on white

There has always been a question about needing to sign your credit card transaction at the point of sale.  Can you remember the last time a clerk validated your signature?  Even then, consider that the integrity of payment systems fall on the shoulders of minimum wage clerks who are expected to authenticate you at the point of sale.

Networks have looked at this issue for years and MasterCard and Visa instituted programs that eliminated the requirement for thirty or so low risk segments.  You probably notice that your dry cleaner probably stopped asking for the signature a couple of years ago.

Discover joined the SIG-Free world last week.  American Express announced their similar strategy this week.

  • American Express announced on Monday that it plans to stop requiring signatures when customers make debit or credit card purchases.

  • The change, of course, will allow for a faster, simpler and more consistent checkout system for cardholders and merchants, American Express said.

There is a school of thought that suggests Apple Pay’s success is pushing issuers to streamline their transactions.  There might be something to that, but from where Mercator sits on the issue, the success of the EMV roll out in the US is more likely the driver for SIG-Free transactions.

Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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