The four major credit card networks — American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa — say they will no longer require merchants to obtain customers' signatures.
From the New York Times:
The signature, a centuries-old way of verifying identity, is rapidly going extinct. Personal checks are anachronisms. Pen-and-ink letters are scarce. When credit card signatures disappear, handwritten authentications will be relegated to a few special circumstances: sealing a giant transaction like a house purchase, or getting a celebrity to autograph a piece of memorabilia — and even that is being supplanted by the cellphone selfie.
Card signatures won't vanish overnight. The change is optional, leaving retailers to decide whether they want to stop collecting signatures.
Target plans to eliminate them this month. Walmart considers signatures "worthless" and has already stopped recording them on most transactions, according to Randy Hargrove, a company spokesman. It will soon get rid of them completely.
Mastercard said it has been wanting to make the change for years, but held off until cards embedded with computer chips became common.
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