Signatures Now Optional for Mastercard

Mastercard credit card

Mastercard has become the first credit card company to not require signatures on the card itself and when purchasing an item. Due to the changes in security and technology advancements in identity verification, Mastercard made the announcement stating that signatures are optional on receipts and the card.

Not having to sign a receipt after a purchase with your Mastercard helps to create a more streamlined and faster sale experience for cardholders. Consumers are already having these experiences when they tap to pay using their phones which is a secure, fast and doesn’t require a signature.

Mastercard made the decision in lieu of the changes and always evolving preferences of consumers. The U.S. conducted a survey which showed that just 40% of people actually signed the back of their card with a third of those people saying they see no point. More than 50% of survey respondents believe that signing the back of their credit card makes no difference in security. A number of those people (66%) also agreed that they would like to have biometrics replace passwords, PIN codes and signatures when they use their card.

The survey was conducted with a sample of 1,211 adults between Sep. 26-27, 2018. The survey contained several items and was done on the internet. All figures of the survey were weighted and are representative of U.S. citizens who are 18+.

“With modern, advanced forms of authentication now available, removing the requirement for signature capture at the point of sale and now signature panels on Mastercard cards is an important step in support of our digital evolution,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, the executive VP of U.S. Merchants and Acceptance for Mastercard. “Issuers, merchants and cardholders will benefit from this change as faster, safer options improve satisfaction and increase sales.”

Beginning in April of 2019, issuers of Mastercard won’t be required to include the panel on the back of the cards for a signature. By making this change, Mastercard is following the move that gives merchants the option of collecting signatures on store purchases. In the Fall of 2017, Mastercard led the industry with the announcement in Canada and the United States. They are now extending the option to merchants across the world.

“We see this as a win for all. The investments we’ve made in technology like artificial intelligence and biometrics are what’s powering this next step,” said Ajay Bhalla, the president of Mastercard’s cyber and intelligence solutions. “We believe our merchant and issuing partners everywhere will embrace the ability to deliver a simpler checkout experience while maintaining the highest levels of security.”

By eliminating the required signature that so many cardholders are used to, Mastercard is making the shift toward the more advanced security technologies like contactless payments and the EMV chip. The innovative technologies have been made to increase security for cardholders and to create a faster, more convenient experience. Along with all of this, consumers are still protected by the Mastercard Zero Liability coverage.

“Signature has been an obsolete form of authentication for quite some time, and removing the signature panel from the cards will reinforce the need for all stakeholders to leverage truly effective authentication technologies to address fraud,” said Mike Cook, Walmart senior VP and assistant treasurer.

“Convenience and security are essential to the payment experience we provide our clients. As part of our ongoing relationship with Mastercard, we are excited to offer our clients credit cards they can use with ease, and with confidence that their credit card transactions are secure,” said the KeyBank head of digital and consumer payments, Jason Rudman.