Credit card firms are about to become a thing of the past, with American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover, the four largest credit card companies in the US. UU., Ready to eliminate the requirement of signatures of purchases in the store in the next days. . American Express, MasterCard and Discover confirmed that they will close the switch on April 13, while Visa will do so later in the month.
We knew it was coming for a while, and the four companies announced that they would eliminate the signature sometime in April. But tomorrow will mark the beginning of the end of the firm, which has undoubtedly been on track to disappear for years. Most credit card companies stopped requiring them for smaller transactions as early as 2010, and things like checks and handwritten letters have been in decline for decades with the arrival of the smartphone and computer.
The firm does not receive a single death blow at the same time
In addition, as The New York Times points out, the firm is not being dealt a single death blow at one time. All the major credit card companies are doing is getting rid of the requirement that companies have a signature: it will be up to the stores to decide whether they want to eliminate them or not. Some, such as Target and Walmart, plan to get rid of them later this month, while others, such as Square, which has card readers used by a large number of small merchants, will still require you to scribble your John Hancock to authenticate your purchase.
Different credit card companies are also getting rid of the restriction in slightly different ways. American Express, for example, denies the requirements worldwide, while Visa makes it optional only in North America for companies that offer chip systems. Mastercard is limiting it to the US only UU And Canada, while Discover will not need signatures in the US UU., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Although this is an international change, the signatures are, to a large extent, only part of the payment system in the United States, since most of the other countries have switched to chip and PIN authentication.
Mastercard announced for the first time that it would eliminate the signing requirement in October of last year, arguing that the firms were slowing down payment and were less secure than other new digital security techniques to prevent fraud, and was quickly followed by the three other major companies.
But it's important to keep in mind that while US credit card companies are finally getting rid of the signature, none of them is taking the additional step of replacing it with the much safer chip and PIN authentication that Europe uses. A few years ago, EE. UU He finally joined the more secure EMV chips on his cards (largely because of a policy that would penalize issuers and stores that did not switch to decaffeinated cards). But the processors of US payments UU They refused to add the other half of the European system, requiring a four-digit PIN to verify a purchase, and instead rely on a signature to authenticate.
And while the desire to speed up the boxes by eliminating the largely useless signature is, in theory, a good thing, especially since the firms were probably not doing too much to avoid fraud in the first place, it's a shame that companies do not take advantage this opportunity to finally put the US UU day with the rest of the world and replace the signatures with PIN.