Beginning in April 2018, consumers using American Express cards at any point of sale around the world will no longer need to provide their John (or Jane) Hancocks. American Express already had eased signature requirements for purchases that were less than specified dollar amounts in the U.S., Canada and the UK. Individual merchants still will have the option to collect signatures if they choose to, or where local laws require it.
Mastercard also plans to eliminate signature requirements for credit and debit payments in April, but only for the U.S. and Canada. At the same time Discover will drop its requirement for these markets along with Mexico and the Caribbean.
“The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants,” said Jaromir Divilek, EVP, Global Network Business for American Express in a statement. “Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud.”
The change is designed to provide a more convenient and consistent checkout experience worldwide. Signature requirements have been declining with the global adoption of EMV technology and the growth of contactless payment options, including card-based and mobile tap-and-pay methods.
Mike Cook, SVP and Assistant Treasurer at Walmart, noted that the decision provides greater flexibility to merchants as they adopt new technologies to make shopping faster and more convenient.
“The introduction of our Walmart Pay mobile app has raised our customers’ expectations for being able to check out quickly and easily,” said Cook in a statement. “Having to sign a receipt can be a hassle for customers and is not necessary to prevent fraud at the point of sale.”