Credit card signatures about to be phased out
Shopping at your favorite store could soon get a bit quicker and easier.
Starting Saturday, several major credit card companies, including American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa will no longer require shoppers to sign receipts for their purchases made with a credit or debit card.
This means it will be up to merchants to decide whether to require the signatures when you check out at the register.
Some retail stores in New Jersey have already done away with the signature requirement for purchases under $50.
Adam Levin, the founder and chairman of the technology security company CyberScout, said the change in policy is really no big deal from a security standpoint.
“I don’t think requiring a signature means anything at all. In fact, when you think about it, when you go to most stores and you sign the receipt nobody looks at it anyway.”
John Holub, the president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, agrees.
He said the signature is completely unnecessary and actually “the fact that they’re eliminating this and pass it off as beneficial to the consumer, it hasn’t been a security feature for quite some time.”
He pointed out security was improved significantly when credit cards started using a chip instead of the swipe.
“That little magnetic strip on the back of your card is 1970s technology. I mean, that’s the equivalent of an 8-track tape.”
He stressed when you make an online purchase, the chip is of no value whatsoever.
“You still have to give the same information that you would have given on a swipe card.”
Holub said the most secure system would be a credit card with a chip that requires the consumer to punch in their pin number. But “the credit card companies don’t make it a requirement and that’s something we feel they should do.”
Levin said the biggest problem with credit cards that contain a chip is that it’s possible somebody got their hands on the card before it shows up in your mailbox.
He explained scammers are intercepting new credit cards with chips being mailed to consumers and “they remove the chip from the card, they replace it with an old chip from another card. Then they have the new chip, they wait for the consumer to authorize and then they start using the chip.”
He pointed out scammers are always trying to find new ways to outsmart the latest security techniques as soon as they’re introduced.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com
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