Merchants Moving to No Signature Required in Greater Numbers

By Irshad Khan

November 27, 2019

In the past, pre-EMV chip reader, merchants often required signatures in case there were disputes from their customers about their charges. The signature was the “proof” that the consumer made the purchase. If the signature didn’t match, then the consumer could claim it was a fraudulent charge.

However, as technology has advanced, so too has the need for signatures on credit and debit transactions. Today, most transactions just required inserting the card into the EMV chip reader and waiting for the transaction to be approved.

There is also the “tap-and-go” option some merchants are moving to with new card reader machines. This payment option allows customers to just tap the chip on their card to the machine to pay for their goods or services.

Then there are smartphone wallet payment options too. Instead of using the physical card to make purchases, the consumer uses their “virtual” wallet on their smartphone. This technology is also used with “tap-and-go” card machines since the customer just taps their phone on the machine to process the payment.

Are Signatures Really Not Needed?

There are some merchants who believe that signatures are still necessary to protect their interests. Other merchants are happy to move to signature-free transactions as this speeds up checkout lines. All four of the major card companies – Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, and Discover have already implemented no signature required transactions.

Although, there are still certain transactions where signatures are still going to be important, such as:

High dollar-value purchases. If you are buying a new TV, appliances, or other items that have a high-value, merchants will continue to want a signature for the transaction.

Hospitality and restaurant operations where tips are appreciated and accepted. These types of transactions will still need a signature because customers have to write in the amount of tip they want to leave.

Government and municipality transactions. If you renew your license, purchase plates for your vehicle, pay property taxes, and other such transactions in person, you can still have to sign.

Moving truck and car rentals. Vehicle rental companies will want a signature as a comparison to the signature on the customer’s driver’s license.

How Will Signature-Free Transactions Affect Your Business?

For most merchants, going signature-free is still growing rapidly now that Visa joined the other 3 major card companies back in 2018. To make sure you can accept signature-free and secure transactions from your customers, you need the right credit and debit card processing equipment.

Depending on how old your equipment is, it may be beneficial to upgrade to a new payment terminal and card processing machine with the latest technologies.

To find the best payment terminals, POS systems, and solutions for your business, please feel free to contact Bloom Merchants at (877) 602-5666 today! We offer a wide range of solutions for businesses of all sizes including e-commerce, mobile payments, gift cards, and more.

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