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Security Businesses The Almighty Buck United States

The Long, Slow Demise of Credit Card Signatures Starts Today (cnet.com) 114

Last year, all four major U.S. payment providers -- Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover -- announced plans to remove the requirement that merchants collect signatures for card transactions. Those plans officially go into effect today, or Saturday in the case of Visa. CNET reports: [D]on't despair if you actually like writing your signature at retail stores, because their ultimate demise will likely take a while. The change is only optional, with merchants, not customers, given the new power to decide whether to get rid of signatures. So, if asked to sign, please don't insist to your next cashier that you no longer need to -- it won't work. Also, plenty of retailers will likely want to keep signatures, particularly if their workers are paid based on a lot of tips, or they sell pricey items. Still, the change marks a clear awareness from payment providers that the signature doesn't really work as a strong protector against fraud.

The change is being handled a little differently by each payment provider. For instance, Mastercard, Discover and American Express said they'll let retailers make every kind of card payment optional for a signature, regardless of whether you've got a new chip card or you still swipe. Visa, meanwhile, isn't changing its requirements for payments using a swipe card, but it did relax its policy for chip card and contactless payments like Apple Pay. Visa noted that over 75 percent of face-to-face transactions using its cards in North America already don't require a signature, thanks to lower-value transactions.

The Long, Slow Demise of Credit Card Signatures Starts Today

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  • Hey USians! (Score:3, Informative)

    by JoeDuncan ( 874519 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @07:57PM (#56434521)

    ... welcome to the year 2000!

    By the time the rest of us are authorizing credit purchases with telepathy, you'll probably *JUST* be introducing the "tap & go" LOL what a fucking backwater...

    • You're just wrong. We have the best internet, highest quality healthcare (and cheapest), and the best educational system ever.

      Some people are so stupid they just don't know it.

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        You name doesn't seem very Korean to me...but plastic surgery isn't all there is to healthcare.
    • Yes, but we effectively have zero consumer liability for fraud. Pick your poison; not sure I want EU-styled consumer liability based on a PIN code alone.

      • Yes, but we effectively have zero consumer liability for fraud.

        That means little in reality. Plenty of fraud is for small amounts that slip by without the consumer bothering to inquiry about an $8 charge on their card. For big charges involving identity theft, the burden is on YOU to prove the transactions were fraudulent, and even if you are successful, you may spend hundreds of hours, and have your credit ruined for years.

        Pick your poison; not sure I want EU-styled consumer liability based on a PIN code alone.

        So here are the choices:
        1. Security based on a PIN that is under my full control, and can be changed if compromised.
        2. The American way: Secur

        • I've had fraudulent activity on my card twice. I hit a button on the credit card app to turn the card off, press another button to call to report fraud, and my new card was in the mail that day. No follow up activity was needed.
        • by Jahta ( 1141213 )

          Yes, but we effectively have zero consumer liability for fraud.

          That means little in reality. Plenty of fraud is for small amounts that slip by without the consumer bothering to inquiry about an $8 charge on their card. For big charges involving identity theft, the burden is on YOU to prove the transactions were fraudulent, and even if you are successful, you may spend hundreds of hours, and have your credit ruined for years.

          Pick your poison; not sure I want EU-styled consumer liability based on a PIN code alone.

          So here are the choices: 1. Security based on a PIN that is under my full control, and can be changed if compromised. 2. The American way: Security based on my SSN and DOB, which are unchangeable, and have already been compromised a dozen times.

          Golly, that is a tough decision.

          And in Europe all cards are Chip-and-PIN, and therefore cannot be skimmed. So a fraudster would have to have your actual card as well as your PIN.

          • by torkus ( 1133985 )

            My bad, i thought this was /. where people knew at least a tiny bit about the tech...

            It's harder, but by no means impossible, to read and duplicate a chip card. You do also need the PIN but there are plenty of examples of that being compromised with cameras primarily but also with hacked keypads and other means.

            It's significantly harder to skim a chip-and-pin vs mag stripe(mag stripes were never secure, only slightly obscure ... for a while) but it can, has, and will still be done fairly regularly.

      • ; not sure I want EU-styled consumer liability based on a PIN code alone.

        It would have been easier to say "I get my information about the EU from Fox News."

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      Hey Europeans, welcome to the year 1985, when EFT pinpads were first introduced in your far flung colonies. Signatures are from the distant era of carbon paper imprints.
      • Chip and pin systems were introduced in France at around that time, but the system was patented. Most of non-French banks didn't want to license the patent and so waited until it expired before rolling it out across the continent. I guess your country either didn't sign the relevant IP treaties or was happy paying royalties to France for every transaction.
        • by jrumney ( 197329 )
          The 1980s cards were magstripe and PIN, chips came later.
          • Early 1980s already had chip cards, mostly used for phone booth (remember, back in the dinosaur era when your phone couldn't fit in your pocket and you needed to call from public ones).
            Wikipedia mentions in french the "Télécate" in France in 1983 as a first massive deployement beyond local tests .
            The patent itself dates back from 1974 [wikipedia.org].

            The first chip payment system is the "Carte Bleure" in France, 1986 according to wikipedia (and by 1992 there were nothing else but chip cards)
            Germany also had G

    • That's why it's so wrong that we meddle so often in other countries' military affairs and have this gigantic trading empire. We need to stop these ridiculous outdated projects like NATO and withdraw our troops home, so that we can pay for these badly needed improvements to our society. Being considered a backwater by the rest of the world stings badly, and there's a lot of things we need to stop doing. If we cut the US Navy down to half the number of ships, we can afford to improve ourselves. Other coun
    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      You think signatures are bad?
      Americans still use cheques - sorry, checks, and they actually get physically moved around between banks, and eventually returned to the writer.

      Another thing: Americans still have pennies in circulation. Worth less than a Euro-cent! Its insane.
      Something costs 99c, you hand over a dollar (in paper money I tell you! not a coin), the clerk then says you need another ten cents because the 99c did not include tax, so you find a dime (almost worthless) and then get a penny in change.

      • by Megane ( 129182 )

        Americans still use cheques - sorry, checks, and they actually get physically moved around between banks, and eventually returned to the writer.

        That hasn't been true for over 15 years. Once it was allowed to pass around just the image of the check (back in 2001 or so), they got scanned and shredded early in the clearing process, and the monthly statement includes a few pages of the images of the front of the checks. The rear side (signatures and a lot of rubber stamping) is no longer available to mortals.

    • I am still waiting for a large number of merchants got get chip readers ...yea, chip only, not chip and pin. Makes the chip only marginally more difficult to intercept. If the chip reader rollout is any indication, the no signature rollout will take until 2178....still 10 years before the new airport in Berlin opens.
  • I prefer cash without the gov't/corporate tracking. And no signature required, just basic math skills.
  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @08:04PM (#56434545)
    These signing terminals have been a thing for a good 15-20 years now, yet I've never signed one. I sign either Foo Bar or Mickey Mouse, depending on my mood. All have gone through with 0 hassle.

    In fact, I bought groceries from Von's today, signed Foo Bar with no issues

    Then again, their Just 4 U program ties my phone # to my credit card so there's that.
    • These signing terminals have been a thing for a good 15-20 years now, yet I've never signed one. I sign either Foo Bar or Mickey Mouse, depending on my mood. All have gone through with 0 hassle.

      There's one store near me that rejected my actual signature on two occasions (many years ago). In both instances, a block printed "BOB" fixed the issue.

      • by torkus ( 1133985 )

        Macys was doing this at one point about two years ago. I ran into it while christmas shopping. Unless the first letter of my signature was comprehensible as the first letter of my name it would reject the signature. I made several purchases one day there and kind of ... got to play with it. A block letter followed by a squiggle was fine. Anything that resembled my actual signature not so much.

    • Getting a little more creative.... https://www.reddit.com/r/funny... [reddit.com]
  • It was silly for the card networks and banks to chicken out on implementing Chip + PIN. People will have to face the (relatively small) pain of learning how to use it at some time, and better to just rip the bandaid off all at once.

    All of Europe, rest of world can deal with using a PIN. What's so special about the US? Just do it, save us all from having to subsidize fraud.
    • All of my recent debit cards have chips. Merchants don't want to buy new machines and the credit card companies don't care because they pass most the cost of fraud to the merchants. It's seriously sickening how these payment providers make money on both ends without that much liability.

      • Then explain the merchants with the chip/contactless compatible terminals with signs saying “swipe only”. Card issuers are interested in limiting fraud... Chase called my wife today about fraudulent MSFT/XBox charges. They want to keep the consumers happy and feeling secure, and... not sure what they want to do with the merchants.

        • Then explain the merchants with the chip/contactless compatible terminals with signs saying “swipe only”

          I'm not sure about this, but that could be due to older POS software that doesn't grok the new reader features.

    • Europe has lower card usage, PIN adds more inconvenience than security. You have a couple of people looking at you type it in and who knows how many cameras, what is the point?
    • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @09:20PM (#56434783)

      The truly obnoxious thing is that without the PIN, the chip itself is worthless, but was forced on us anyway. So we got the slowdown at the registers for no reason. With a PIN, at least if I lose my card or my wallet is stolen, the card would be useless to the thief barring unbelievable luck in guessing. But with only the chip in play, the only place a thief couldn't use my card is the gas station, which was already the case with the stripe.

      Pointless. Security. Theater.

    • and more to do with getting businesses to buy all the hardware and software needed to do it. Chip + Sig was cheaper and easier to implement. As for what's different about America, we are positively _loath_ to spend on infrastructure of any kind (except private airports for the ultra rich, but I digress).
      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        getting businesses to buy all the hardware and software needed to do it

        The chip hardware is here already. Adding a PIN just uses the (included) keyboard and some more software (which has a development cost but zero marginal cost to distribute).

      • You think that a chip+pin terminal was more expensive than the over sized complex terminals with large displays and touch / stylus which were implemented for chip+signature?

        That is truly incredible.

    • >> It was silly for the card networks and banks to chicken out on implementing Chip + PIN.
      This. The USA is only 20 years behind on tech

  • So can we stop teaching cursive in elementary school now? I hated writing the same-sized letters in the notebook with all the lines.
  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @09:12PM (#56434741)

    Australia has been using chip-and-pin credit cards for years now, as has Europe and many other places. What is it about the US that makes card companies (Visa, MasterCard etc), banks and merchants so reluctant to introduce chip-and-pin in the US?

    • You missed a far more interesting part of that: Australia has *mandated* pin for all transactions on Australian cards for the past 4 years. When you swipe a card in an Australian terminal it will identify Australian credit and debit cards and force a chip+PIN authorisation.

    • It costs money to change over. You think bankers got rich by spending money? Hell no. We must all suffer so they can make a few more coppers. That's how sociopaths work.
    • We have chip-and-pin.

      Every merchant supports it for debit transactions. It uses the same piece of hardware (card reader) whether you use pin or signature. It makes no difference to the merchant whether you punch in a pin, or scribble on the receipt, or wave your phone at the reader -we just want to get paid.

      So, why don't we use chip-and-pin for credit transactions?

      Because the card issuers/payment processors don't want us to.

  • you have a direct link to your bank account in your wallet, that if lost or stolen anybody can use? No pin, no nothing. Man.. I guess you really are the land of the brave..
    • actually, no, there are limits on liability.

      so not brave, just insured

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      direct link to your bank account

      Credit card. Issued by an entirely different bank.

      But yeah. Why no PIN? Merchants around the rest of the world love PINs. Less deniability over credit charges.

  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @09:55PM (#56434893)

    I can't write anything that looks like my signature on those silly tablets anyway, and a lot of people just make a wavy line..... how about some actual security instead? a pin? connect the dots on a grid in a pattern?

    signatures always were silly, a thief can practice the one they make you put the the back of your card

  • I don't know when the last time I signed my name in one of those esig boxes. I random scribble something and the cashier just pushes a button, my receipt's printed, and out the store I go with my goods. And people wonder why it's so easy for someone to use someone else's credit card.
  • Chase has not provided me with a pin for my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. I have to sign.

    There really isn't an excuse for not requiring pin authentication for a card present PoS credit card transaction.

  • Requiring a signature was insisted upon by customers, noit vendors. People require a way to prove that they didn't authorize a charge, especially in the UK where the card vendors claimed that a PIN was "unbreakable" and there was no fraud. The courts eventually caught on, and now require the vendors to prove that the customer authorized the charge.
  • If by long you mean short, and slow you mean fast. Also by today you mean many years ago.
  • that you USAsians live in.

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!

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