Mastercard to abandon signatures at checkout

Mastercard has announced it will stop requiring signatures at checkout for credit or debit purchases in Canada and the U.S. after April 2018.

“Eliminating the need for signature is another step in the digital evolution of payments and payment security. At first glance, this might sound like a radical proclamation, especially to people who have had credit and debit cards for decades. However, the change matches all of our expectations for fast and convenient shopping experiences,” the company said.

The move could have little effect on consumer behavior or interchange income for credit unions and other card issuers, however.

“I believe that while it makes for great press, it may not make a difference,” Lou Grilli, director of payments strategy at CSCU in Tampa, Fla., said. “Merchant terminals are programmed to show a signature screen for credit transactions. Reprogramming all those terminals is monumental.” Having a terminal avoid showing the signature screen if the card is a Mastercard but then show it for other cards doesn’t make sense, he said.


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