How Will the End of Credit Card Signatures Affect Your Business?

credit card signature

In November of last year, we wrote about the end of signing some credit card receipts. We discussed that Mastercard was the company pushing forward with this initiative. While there are some credit card processing ideas that come and then disappear without being fully realized, Mastercard has officially made this one a reality.

Why Did Mastercard Say Goodbye to Signatures?

Because Mastercard’s requirement of signing credit card receipts officially ended on April 13th, the first question you may be asking is why. There are actually a few reasons. Relevant data released by Mastercard includes how few things people now sign on a monthly basis, along with just how annoyed the majority of consumers get by having to wait longer in line because of slow transactions.

Traditionally, the main purposes of requiring signatures were security authentication and documentation for resolving disputes. In regards to the former, it’s no secret that sloppy credit card receipt signatures are very easy to forge. If someone wants to commit credit card fraud, this requirement isn’t going to stop them. And as far as documentation goes, the prevalence of electronic records and even newer technology like blockchain is much more reliable.

What Are the Implications for Your Business?

When the EMV liability shift occurred a few years ago, it created a lot of uncertainty for businesses of all sizes. The good news is this change isn’t going to have the same effect. Instead, most (if not all) of the main implications should be positive.

To start with, as we discussed in the section above, consumer data makes it clear that no one wants to wait in line longer than necessary. By eliminating signatures, you can help keep all of your customers moving through the checkout line. This will be especially helpful during busy times of the year like the holidays.

The next benefit is you don’t have to worry about trying to enforce an outdated policy. For example, if a customer hadn’t signed the back of their credit card, telling them they had to do this could feel a little awkward. The end of signatures means you won’t even have to spend any time thinking about these kinds of issues.

Another benefit has to do with eco-friendliness. Although receipts here and there may not seem like a lot, it’s estimated that retailers use over six hundred thousand tons of paper a year just to print receipts. Even though paper receipts aren’t going to disappear overnight, no longer needing to print a separate copy for signatures will put a dent in this total.

Finally, even though it remains to be seen exactly how it pans out, there’s a good chance that this change will actually make dispute resolutions easier. The reason is having a digital or paper copy of any transactions in question will no longer be a requirement.

If you have any other questions about handling payments for your business, our credit card processing guide for merchants is a great starting resource.

Posted on Monday, June 25th, 2018