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Thread: Why are some merchants still asking for credit card signatures in these times?

  1. #1
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    Why are some merchants still asking for credit card signatures in these times?

    I understood that as of about 3 years ago if a merchant had a chip reader card reader the card companies do not care if there is a signature or not. The chip card is more secure then a signature.
    So why did Ace hardware want a signature on a germy screen with a germy stylus for a 25 dollar transaction? They had no hand sanitizer to sell by doing so.
    After 9/11 the requirement for flying paper checks to a bank to be cashed was removed and scans became legal. Maybe the Corona virus will make merchants change their old ways again.
    Bil lD

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I understood that as of about 3 years ago if a merchant had a chip reader card reader the card companies do not care if there is a signature or not. The chip card is more secure then a signature.
    So why did Ace hardware want a signature on a germy screen with a germy stylus for a 25 dollar transaction? They had no hand sanitizer to sell by doing so.
    After 9/11 the requirement for flying paper checks to a bank to be cashed was removed and scans became legal. Maybe the Corona virus will make merchants change their old ways again.
    This absolutely has to change. I was in a plumbers supply store yesterday buying some specialty items, and had to use one of those things. Everybody there seemed unconcerned albeit slightly cagey. But then, they _were_ plumbers...

    I keep hand sanitizer in my pocket, peeking out like a curious pet rodent.

  3. #3
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    Those that ask are required to do so by the particular card processor clearing house they are subscribed to. It's antiquated for sure...

    I've been using contactless or ApplePay more and more, too, which eliminates anyone or anything actually touching my card.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 03-25-2020 at 3:42 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    While your shopping at Ace grab a plastic nut & bolt bag and use it at the register as a glove.
    ========================================
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  5. #5
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    I haven't signed for a credit card purchase in probably at least 10 years. For some reason, the US has been behind the rest of the world by several years in the adoption of pin & chip technology.

  6. #6
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    Frank, the US banking system decided to not do pin and chip, preferring sign and chip for transactions over a certain amount. But some clearing houses require signatures even for small transactions which is probably what the OP ran into as I noted. I'm not really sure why the PIN was eschewed here, but the rumor at the time was that they felt folks wouldn't be able to remember a PIN...which makes less than zero sense given how many things each of us have to do utilizing a PIN or a password. Sheesh...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    While your shopping at Ace grab a plastic nut & bolt bag and use it at the register as a glove.

    Stop being resourceful. We'll have nothing to complain about!

    Its funny but, my parents always carried those single use plastic gloves in the car to pump gas or do other things involving frequent contact items in public places. I just picked up the habit when I started to drive. I'm no Adrian Monk but, touch screens(?), I started my I.T. career when Ethernet was still in the lab; keyboards, keypads, execute switches, oh my! This has been a health concern since way before touch screens became a public use item. Us old timers have been practicing "touch device" hygiene since way back. Those people you notice leaving the public restrooms without washing their hands are probably a fair share of the current positive statistics just as they have been in the past.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  8. #8
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    How about when you do banking transactions in a bank. Have to sign that screen. How about when you pick up prescriptions in a drug store, have to sign that screen, how about when you have to sign for a package delivery and have to sign that screen with your finger. Had to do all these just this past week. No other way around it. Weather it is antiquated or not. This virus thing has given me the beebegeebees I am wiping off groceries and mail and packages. Listen to the cdc and this thing lives on surfaces. They are not sure how long and what materials. all new stuff man.
    John T.

  9. #9
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    I've been using ApplePay as much as I can lately, not out of fear of handling cash, but I have grudgingly accepted the utility of it. But at my Ace Hardware, even with ApplePay, I have to sign a credit slip for purchases over $100.

  10. #10
    Never could understand why a signature on a credit card purchase adds anything to security. If the thief has your card with the signature he has to match on it, and the store clerk has no real training in spotting fake signatures it's highly unlikely they would spot a forged signature. Many years ago when Canadian cards required signatures, a guy I worked with instead of signing his card wrote "check for ID" in the signature spot. He was amazed how many times the store clerk would look at the signature on the bill, flip the card over and appear to check the signature that wasn't on the back of the card and hand the card back as if he was confirming the signatures matched.

  11. #11
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    Given that any squiggle passes as a signature on these devices one really wonders what the point is. For certain no one ever checks for a "match".

  12. #12
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    The signature check is less important at this point because of most cards now being chipped. Most fraudulent card transactions are for online purchases where there's no capability (yet) to verify by the chip. The signature required for transactions over a certain amount is probably some kind of policy holdover around "I agree to pay..." from back in the day when cards were less favored than cash, but with card usage becoming more the norm, there is realization that the card issuer already has that assurance from the cardholder.

    I will say that if anyone tends to shop at a place that requires signatures, either on paper or on the screen, simply carry your own pen with you and make it something that can also be used as a stylus on a screen. Many screen terminals have an integrated stylus, so if you're wearing gloves, use it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    When I asked, as a Canadian, why I had to sign a credit card voucher in the USA years ago, I was told the merchant had to pay for the new chip reading machine and it was too expensive. I dunno.......
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Rosenthal View Post
    When I asked, as a Canadian, why I had to sign a credit card voucher in the USA years ago, I was told the merchant had to pay for the new chip reading machine and it was too expensive. I dunno.......
    I seem to remember that some time ago card readers had a security issue that couldn't be fixed with with a software upgrade. I remember seeing a lot of new terminals in stores and those terminals included the chip reader. Chip & pin is common in the U.S. these days.

  15. #15
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    Put a stylus pen in your pocket and use that to sign.
    No need to make things difficult.

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