Things are About to Get Easier at the Checkout

Noticed longer lines at checkout?

While the new chip technology on credit cards and mobile payments has improved security overall, as a business owner you’ve probably noticed it has slowed down your checkout lines. After inserting the card and waiting for the purchase to complete, the customer must then sign the electronic tablet or in some cases a printed receipt handed to them from the cashier. Some stores required their cashiers to check the signature against the back of the card, and ask for another form of ID if the card wasn’t signed. The impact was pretty immediate and resulted in longer checkout lines, frustrating both you and your customers.

The big guys share your pain

MasterCard announced in October of last year that it would make signatures optional on in-store purchases with chip enabled cards starting in this month, and Visa, American Express and Discover quickly followed suit. This comes after many large retail stores, like Wal-Mart, have been pushing for some time to eliminate the need for a signature.

The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants

Signatures are not effective at fighting fraud

“The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants,” said Jaromir Divilek, Executive Vice President, Global Network Business, American Express. “Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud.”

Visa reported that since 2011, they have deployed more than 460 million EMV chip cards and EMV chip-enabled readers at over 2.5 million locations. According to Visa, in less than two years since EMV chip launched in the U.S., fraud declined 66 percent at EMV chip-enabled merchants.

What this means for you, Mr. Retailer

The changes in recent years with credit card payments has made it difficult for many businesses to keep up, not to mention expensive. Speeding transactions up by a few seconds may not seem like a lot, but that time adds up and can make an impact on your bottom line. These changes mean a quicker and more efficient process, for both you AND your customer. Happy customers are repeat customers.

The bottom line

  1. The updated no signature required policies that start this month apply to all retailers in the United States for all 4 credit card brands. Some have expanded their policy throughout North America and for American Express it is a global change.
  2. If your business wants to continue to require signatures that’s fine, too; that’s up to you as the retailer. You may want to eliminate most signatures but still require them on certain purchases, like higher ticket items or those with a unique return policy.
  3. Your point of sale terminal may require updates to remove the signature requirement. If so, we can help. Contact us for assistance.
  4. If you have been so busy running your business day to day that haven’t gotten around to updating your terminals to comply with the chip card requirements, don’t wait any longer. Contact us for help to get fully compliant and reduce your liability exposure.


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