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News: Mastercard Says Goodbye to Signatures -

If you're tired of signing your credit card receipt when you are at the register you may well be happy to learn that Mastercard has announced that signing is now optional. And if you haven't signed the back of your credit card, don't worry about it because Mastercard has taken that out of the credit card equation as well. These new developments are designed to make checking out easier and faster, as well as align their policies with evolving consumer trends.

Why did they make this decision? They point to a new survey they conducted in the United States, showing that just 40% of people actually sign their credit cards. And just a third of those who choose not to sign their cards say they don't see why they should. In fact, 50% of people in the survey indicated that they believe the security of their card and data was the same whether they signed their card or not.

What about biometrics? People in the study were all for it, indicating that they were interested in having signatures, passwords and PIN's replaced by biometric-based technology. "We see this as a win for all. The investments we've made in technology like artificial intelligence and biometrics are what's powering this next step," said Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber and intelligence solutions, Mastercard.

"We believe our merchant and issuing partners everywhere will embrace the ability to deliver a simpler checkout experience while maintaining the highest levels of security," he added.

Making it easier for issuers too

In keeping with this theme of doing away with signatures Mastercard is taking it global for issuers - starting in April 2019 issuers in the Mastercard network will no longer have to include a signature panel on the back of Mastercard products they are using during sales.

This upgrade comes on the heels of the decision to let retailers choose whether or not they wanted to have cardholders sign at the register at brick and mortar stores in the United States and Canada. But now they are taking the initiative worldwide.

"With modern, advanced forms of authentication now available, removing the requirement for signature capture at the point of sale and now signature panels on Mastercard cards is an important step in support of our digital evolution," said Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president, U.S. Merchants, and Acceptance, Mastercard.

"Issuers, merchants and cardholders will benefit from this change as faster, safer options improve satisfaction and increase sales," she added.

The survey was conducted by an independent global market research firm between September 26 and September 27, 2018. They interviewed 1,211 adults.