top 200 commentsshow all 204

[–]sbFRESH 167 points168 points  (58 children)

I can't think of any case where my signature has actually been used to verify anything. Why do we still use it?

[–]Eagle20_Fox2 46 points47 points  (17 children)

I sign stuff on the digital pad every now and then. Haven't put any thought to when it's required.

[–]SquarePeg37[S] 76 points77 points  (16 children)

That digital pad signature rarely looks like your signature anyway, what's the point?

[–]Ratnix 49 points50 points  (4 children)

One time the pad was old and worn so it barely worked. The cashier told me to just draw a line across it, it didn't matter, it would take anything as a signature.

I have since stopped even trying to make anything close to my signature on them.

[–]MakeMeBeautifulDuet 21 points22 points  (0 children)

haha. cashew.

[–]Davidcottontail 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Yeah they accept literally anything. Even a dot.

[–]BamBamSquad 5 points6 points  (0 children)

What a nut

[–]Contra_Mortis 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I sometimes draw little dicks when I buy things. Not a problem yet.

[–]whatsinthesocks 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I just draw a penis

[–]GOA_AMD65 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Visa, Obviously that charge isn’t mine. Where are the ball hairs?

[–]thetemp_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's additional evidence of intent. Sometimes it will even say "I agree to pay these charges." above the signature line.

Also, if you handed over someone else's card and signed their name without authority, it could be charged as forgery.

By now, probably every jurisdiction in the world has codified "credit card fraud" as a crime, so it's become an anachronism.

[–]Mrcuntycuntcunt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'd write 'stolen card' for a couple of months until i got bored. Now it's just a token wiggle.

[–]borosillycut_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

With my terrible handwriting I don't think any two of my signatures have ever looked the same.

[–]shsh99 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Somewhere else on Reddit someone borrowed a friend's card and wrote "I stole this" in the signature. They called the card holder, so I guess there is some checking.

[–]Tom_Zarek 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just use an "x"

[–]mces97 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I mean, I guess if you disputed a charge and it was signed, if they wanted to prove it was you they could. But that's not really going to ever happen. But it's just one thing I could think of.

[–]XhotwheelsloverX 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Wasn't there an old TIFU story about a guy who drew penises as the signature and got caught?

[–]sbFRESH 2 points3 points  (0 children)

shrug I haven't heard it. I used to work with a dude who always drew his signature as a star though.

[–]CharlesB43 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sort of unrelated but there's a wrestler who used a penis as a signature on his license:


They apparently asked him to come in and change it.

[–]kelsec 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Most TIfU stories are made up!

[–]howardtheduckdoe -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I work at a credit union--I know if you were to sign for your transaction like that your account would be closed. It's probably acceptable for stupid shit like dominos or something but just keep that in mind.

[–]Andrew_Tracey 8 points9 points  (10 children)

Security theater for stupid people. Seriously, years ago when the credit card companies decided to start implementing chips they did it with the intention of eventually transitioning the U.S. over to PIN-and-chip like what the rest of the world uses. Chip-and-PIN is where there's a chip (in your card) and you enter a PIN in order to authorize the transaction instead of signing for anything. Makes a hell of a lot more sense because it provides actual security (unlike a signature) by preventing a thief from using your card that they've stolen because they would also need to know your PIN.

No, it is not the same PIN you use on your debit card (unless you want it to be I guess), no this has nothing to do with your debit card.

Anyway, when they started transitioning over a few years ago I read an article where they actually laid out what they were doing and why: they were going to start with chip-and-signature and give Americans a few years to get comfy with the chip, then they were going to transition over to chip-and-PIN. They said this was because they knew people had been signing for their purchases for years and the companies thought immediately switching them over to a PIN would make them uncomfortable in that many would think it was less secure.

God this pissed me off. Yet again, the rest of us have to pay for the stupidest amongst us. It really irritated me because I was planning to go to Spain for a few months at the time and really wanted a chip-and-PIN card so I wouldn't have to fuck around with signing things while I was over there and would have a card I knew would function everywhere. I even hunted around for a chip-and-PIN card and found one that USAA advertised as such and signed up with them solely for that reason (I'm a veteran, I qualified). Welp, they lied, that fucking card required a goddamn signature every time I used it over there. Every single time I used it, it would tell the cashier they needed to go get my signature, so I was still stuck signing receipts while over there.

I can't wait until we finally get upgraded to chip-and-PIN. It's easier and faster, and you're going to see credit card theft, mugging, pickpocketing, and other such forms of theft where one of the primary objectives is to get the victim's credit card, plummet.

Edit: When I sign for CC purchases (paper receipt or digital pad, doesn't matter, no it doesn't analyze or compare your signature to anything), I like to sign Disney characters' names, e.g. Donald Duck, Goofy Thedog, Mickey Mouse, etc. Been doing this for years, never had a problem, the purchase is always authorized. Try it some time.

[–]tmiw 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Actually, I think chip and nothing is where they're going to stop. Otherwise you'd think the networks and banks would make way more noise about switching to PIN along with getting rid of signature. Not to mention that PIN is going away for small purchases elsewhere (and possibly larger ones if you use a phone to pay).

[–]Andrew_Tracey 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is a really good point, though I personally would very much like there to be a hard limit (e.g. $100 at once or $200 or more per hour in multiple purchases) where a PIN would still be required no matter what.

[–]greenisin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Imagine the pain of trying to issue over a hundred million PINs. I can't blame the credit card companies for not wanting to use them. Also, the manpower to handle forgotten PINs would be huge.

[–]ButterflyAttack 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Here in the UK, contactless payment is common, and a lot of people seem to use their phones. Annoyingly, I don't have a proper bank account so I have to use cash like a fuckin caveman.

[–]hawaiian717 1 point2 points  (0 children)

USAA did originally issue Chip and PIN cards but eventually changed over to Chip and Signature. I wouldn't be surprised if their front-line customer service agents weren't advised of the change to signature-preference.

Navy Federal CU also went from Chip and PIN to Chip and Signature, in their case when they transitioned from the pilot phase to general rollout of EMV cards. In both cases, the cards are still PIN-capable, just signature preferring. So they should still work at places that require PIN (like train ticket kiosks in Europe), it just becomes slightly more of a hassle when you have to sign while the locals are all entering PIN. I haven't found that to be that big of a deal though; DCC (charging the transaction in USD rather than Euros, at a vastly inferior exchange rate) is a bigger problem. Also the prevalence of contactless cards in parts of Europe mean you can skip the whole thing and just used Android/Apple Pay instead.

[–]Syphon8 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I'm in Canada; foreign cards always required signatures in every pos I've I used when working retail. Regardless of chip and pin; it wasn't just Americans.

Perhaps the same is true in Spain?

[–]Andrew_Tracey 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Interesting, I didn't know that, thank you.

[–]hawaiian717 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Could be an issue between online (PIN verified over the network by the bank) and offline (PIN verified by the card). I'm not sure which is more common in Canada, but if your stores only supported one type and the cards from other countries supported the other, then you'd fall back to signature.

[–]Syphon8 0 points1 point  (1 child)

No, there's no issue. This is the normal state of affairs.

[–]hawaiian717 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well, I can tell you that Australian Chip and PIN cards will ask for PIN at Walmart in the US.

[–]randomdragoon 5 points6 points  (2 children)

There was a really old blog post about a guy who tried to see how much he could get away with using a blatently incorrect signature on his credit card. I think they actually stopped him when he tried to buy six flat-screen TV's at once.

[–]shsh99 12 points13 points  (0 children)

The price of the transaction likely flagged it first, rather than the signature.

[–]ShockGryph 0 points1 point  (0 children)

He was writing void in the signature block right? I remember just didn't this.

[–]wastley 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It may happen while you are in a different country, or you can ask your bank to prompt stores to check signature. I see it a few times a week at work.

[–]ArrrGaming 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I've known people who write "Verify Signature" on the front of the card.

I was a kid though and this was pre-Internet, and who knows whether that would work now.

[–]_skankhunt_4d2_ 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Because that 16 year old girls can tell a fake

[–]greenisin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I buy stuff for work at Best Buy, and they verify signatures against my drivers license. It sucks because several times I couldn't get my signature on the hard to write on pad to match.

[–]Misian420 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I can't think of any case where my signature has actually been used to verify anything. Why do we still use it?

I literally signed 'stolen card' multiple times and it always went through.

[–]jamesfishingaccount 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I work in IT for a retailer. Several transactions that I’ve helped store teammtes review have had the customer signature that is in the electronic receipt be a crudely drawn penis.

[–]jiggatron69 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Literally a hold over from the days when they had to use that weird swipe carbon copy machine thingy. I saw one in a museum once.

[–]PM_me_ya_pelfies 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This device is called a “knuckle-buster”

[–]SquarePeg37[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Ah yes, the "kerchunk-kerchunker"

[–]Selfweaver 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Isn't that a train?

[–]Pr0cedure 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I actually had to use one recently when a restaurant that I really like had their card reader go down. There's another place near me that still uses them for delivery orders.

[–]greenisin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A lot of hotels still use them to get a copy of the card up front for incidentals. A friend that works for a small chain of hotels said that's saved them many times when people skipped out on bills. Can't argue when you have a damn imprint of the card.

[–]juicethebrick 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So if you dispute it and the dispute is denied, you don’t have anything to stand on in court.

[–]3fronts 0 points1 point  (0 children)

To see how far away from a signature you can get? I draw draw a line.

[–]rakint 0 points1 point  (2 children)

For chargebacks. If i have a signature that can kinda pass for your name then you can’t dispute the transaction with your bank

[–]PM_ME_ALL_THE_BOOBIE 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yes, you can still dispute it. You can't dispute that you bought it but you can easily dispute service or faulty product. Hell even with a signature you can easily say "that wasn't me, the card was stolen" and so long as you don't have other transactions it'll be trivial to dispute it.

[–]rakint 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yea but if i have a signature then american express will pay for the dispute most of the time. Of I don’t have a signature then i lose automatically. I handle charge back disputes as part of my job

[–]ShadowSwipe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The whole idea doesn't even make sense because you could sign any ridiculous thing, no one verifies them. If they came after you for nonpayment and had to use your signature as proof you agreed to pay, and you signed President Obama, what are they going to do? It's a silly system that no one even uses.

[–]lazyassdog 25 points26 points  (2 children)

Man I can't re.ember the last time I had to sign here in Canada. Either tap and pay or pin code everywhere here.

The only thing stranger would be using cash or a cheque.

[–]Thorlookslost 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Tap and pay is the greatest.

[–]Selfweaver 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Except it makes you look like an idiot when you go to a behind the times store, or a gas station (since they require a pin anyways).

[–]Charlitos_Way 63 points64 points  (4 children)

I hate when I'm buying a bag of chips at the 7-11 and the clerk asks for my ID and then studies my signature like he's just working there on his off hours and his real job is at the crime lab studying forged signatures. Sometimes I just write 'whatever' on the signature line.

[–]SquarePeg37[S] 10 points11 points  (2 children)

I like "Fuck You" in my nicest cursive

[–]Charlitos_Way 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Maybe 'I like you' would be interesting and then wink when they look at you

[–]nowyouseemenowyoudo2 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Oh man, I remember there was a massive hullabaloo about a guy in Australia (I think) who signed everything, bank documents, checks, statutory declarations, all will a little dick and balls; and he had to go all the way to court to fight to keep that as his signature

My favorite part was that the judge initially was incredulous and thought the whole thing was ridiculous, but after looking though the actual details of what constitutes a signature and the precedents, he had to let the guy keep his signature, and basically ruled that a signature need not resemble words

After that and getting the right to wear a colander on my head for drivers license pictures, fun country.

[–]PloppyThirds 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They don't even check my ID for beer much less match it to my credit card.

[–]PurpEL 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Canada would like to welcome the USA to 2003

[–]LuckyBdx4 8 points9 points  (10 children)

Signing cards died on August 1st 2014 here in Australia.

[–]DeepReally[🍰] 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Feb 2006 in the UK.

[–]we_have_met_before 8 points9 points  (2 children)

The US is not yet done upgrading to the system you guys abandoned 10 years ago. American exceptionalism!

[–]vanishplusxzone 0 points1 point  (1 child)

The US will never be done because forcing people to convert to chip and pin is oppression and it violates their freedom as consumers.

[–]420BongHitsForJesus -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Or maybe it’s because it’s slower than swipe

[–]redavid 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I live in the US and have never signed a credit card and I got my first one in like 2006.

[–]LuckyBdx4 4 points5 points  (1 child)

When using, not on the back.

[–]420BongHitsForJesus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Signing the back is also useless, I’ve never done that before either. The only time I’ve had a problem with that is when I an American went to the UK and used my card

[–]berger77 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Over the yrs I have had a few places give me crap that my C.C. isn't signed. One wouldn't let me use it without signing it first. Think about that one...

[–]hawaiian717 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They're actually following Visa's card acceptance guidelines if they do that. If the card isn't signed it's not considered valid. What the merchant is supposed to do is ask the customer to sign the card, then ask for an ID with a signature on it and compare to make sure the photo on the ID matches the person in front of them and the signature and name on the ID match the card.

[–]halfcabfullcab -1 points0 points  (0 children)

The only card I’ve signed the back of in the last ten years was because woolies systems fucked up so I had to sign the receipt. Checkout chick saw no issue in me signing the card, then the receipt, before she checked them.

[–]relomia 14 points15 points  (18 children)

I haven't signed my visa or mastercard ever in my life and never had a problem...

[–]greenisin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Our merchant account says we can't accept cards that aren't signed. I'm surprised you haven't had a problem.

[–]Daeskmoor 28 points29 points  (63 children)

It would be nice if cashiers actually checked them in the US. Been all over the east coast and nobody has asked for ID, 'cause mine says NEED ID in bold.

[–]Radshitz 35 points36 points  (30 children)

Per the credit card agreement on the back of your card it specifically says “CARD NOT VALID UNLESS SIGNED.” Also, the retailer has no right to ask for your ID. If your card is not signed the retailer has ever right to deny your transaction per the card agreement.

[–]Daeskmoor 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Even better. Haven't had it denied either. Even when I get super sketchy and forget pin and ask to sign instead.

[–]Radshitz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ya it’s pretty rare to have it denied. Very few retailers actually train their employees on that. However, I worked for a well known electronics retailer and many people would be denied because they never signed their card. Customers would get pissed when we would make them sign their card.

Also, I’ve processed stacks of blatantly fraudulent cards.. nothing I can do when they’re all the same name and all signed.

[–]TinfoilTricorne 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Per the credit card agreement on the back of your card it specifically says “CARD NOT VALID UNLESS SIGNED.”

Nobody actually gives a fuck if I leave my card unsigned. Only happens when I finally send someone else to the store with it because other people get nervous that the transaction would get denied.

[–]RemoteProvider 0 points1 point  (23 children)

The retailer has every right to verify your ID matches the name on the card if they so choose.

[–]greenisin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not according to the vast majority of merchant agreements. See:


"The merchant/retailer required identification."

You can easily lose your merchant account if you ask for ID.

[–]Radshitz 2 points3 points  (20 children)

And you have every right to deny it. The card agreement says “Not valid unless signed” if signed the card is valid.

[–]Phinocio 2 points3 points  (2 children)

In which case no sale is made

[–]Radshitz -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Yes, then they’re violating the card agreement and the merchant can be fined.

[–]PM_ME_ALL_THE_BOOBIE -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

File a complaint with Visa and watch the company back peddle super quick.

[–]RemoteProvider 8 points9 points  (16 children)

If course you can say no, but they're not obligated to accept the card if you're not going to prove your identity.

[–]PM_ME_ALL_THE_BOOBIE 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's against the agreement they made if it's Visa and if it's Mastercard then if it's not signed they can request further identification (but that parts vague). And, lemme tell you, you really won't want to piss off those companies because if you fuck up too many times they fuck you hard and fast.

[–]lurker628 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Not Daeskmoor, but I do the same.

If anyone actually tried to refuse my card because I wrote "ASK FOR ID," I'd take the card back, borrow a pen, sign in the space remaining, and hand it back over.

I agree that a retailer has neither a formal right nor responsibility to ask for ID, but the fact that I wrote it onto my own card is indicative that I'm willing to show ID. They're certainly allowed to ask for ID, and if a cardholder whose card says "ask for ID" refuses to comply, that should be a red flag. I can't reasonably be mad that they don't ask, but writing that on the card is really more about principle than practice.

[–]berger77 1 point2 points  (1 child)

If anyone actually tried to refuse my card because I wrote "ASK FOR ID," I'd take the card back, borrow a pen, sign in the space remaining, and hand it back over.

Exactly what happened to me. They didn't care about id, only that it was signed. lol.

[–]lurker628 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Right. That's the whole idea.

The overwhelming majority of transactions (among those for which you don't just run your card yourself):

Card says "Ask for ID."
Employee doesn't notice, or notices and doesn't ask. Runs card.
Customer returns card to wallet and leaves.

The particularly rare transaction:

Card says "Ask for ID."
Employee notices and asks.
"Thanks for asking, almost no one ever does!" Customer provides ID.
Employee gives ID the 2 second glance it takes. Runs card.
Customer returns card to wallet and leaves.

The even more rare, but promoted-in-this-subthread transaction:

Card says "Ask for ID."
Employee notices it's not signed, cares that it's not signed, and says "the card isn't valid unless signed."
Customer signs card, next to "Ask for ID." Signature bears at best a passing resemblance to the name, anyway.
Employee runs card, satisfied that the business' ass is covered.
Customer returns card to wallet and leaves.

[–]hio__State 13 points14 points  (25 children)

I've never understood the "SEE ID" people.

If I lose my credit card or it's stolen somehow two things will happen...

  1. I make a quick call to my card provider and it's deactivated

  2. If someone uses it in the window of time before it's deactivated I'm not liable and my bank will simply reverse the charges

Honestly, what compelled you to write that? What do you think it's accomplishing?

[–]lurker628 1 point2 points  (7 children)

It's more on principle, for me. I doubt it'll ever matter.

In theory, it could prevent a fraudulent charge during the window between my card being stolen and me realizing the card was stolen, which could easily be several days. In practice, I've been asked for ID maybe a half dozen times in the past decade, so it's just irrelevant, anyway.

[–]hio__State 0 points1 point  (6 children)

But you aren't going to be liable for that charge regardless so why would you care? Just sign it and be done with it.

[–]lurker628 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Not sure you're understanding the distinction I've drawn. Yes, I agree that, in practice, it wouldn't make a difference. On principle, showing ID rather than relying on a scribbled signature could prevent fraud.

The fact that I wouldn't end up liable isn't the point; taking reasonable steps in aiming to prevent fraud is inherently "better" than steps only to address its consequences.

Though, I believe, even if you're not liable, fraud on your credit card does affect your credit score, so there actually is a practical reason to aim to prevent, rather than reverse, such charges. (Of course, this particular approach - since almost no one ever asks - still isn't practical.)

The more rational argument on your side is "no one asks for your ID anyway, so just sign it." To which, again, I say: principle.

To explicitly answer your original question: the only thing it's accomplishing is that I appreciate acting toward the principle of preventing fraud. I can't control that most businesses won't work with me on it, but I can still hold up my end.

[–]hio__State 0 points1 point  (2 children)

A fraudulent credit card charge has zero effect on your credit card, it gets reversed and never touches your report. The economic slippage and inefficiences of making people pull out an ID every time and have it truly examined at point of sales adds up to far more than the fraud that slips through not doing that, which is why retailers haven't bothered doing it for decades and why even networks are doing away with signatures.

You aren't accomplishing anything of value, in principle you are advocating for higher losses in the system by making it less easy and quick to use, just sign your card like your issuer wants.

[–]lurker628 1 point2 points  (1 child)

A fraudulent credit card charge has zero effect on your credit card.

Closing a card definitely does, and I don't believe the reason for doing so is taken into account. I may certainly be mistaken about fraudulent charges alone, which would be the relevant question, here.

pull out an ID

It's literally next to the card, and I can't put my wallet away again until I get the card back, anyway. Empirical evidence from the half dozen times I've actually been asked demonstrates that it's not a problem.

I agree people don't check, but, no, it wouldn't be any significant imposition on consumers' time. It would add up a bit for the retailer, sure. I don't have a problem with expecting retailers to act positively to prevent fraud, even if it would add 5-15 seconds to each transaction. (Though I also, as mentioned, can't currently fault retailers for not checking ID, as it's not required.)

You aren't accomplishing anything of value, just sign your card like your issuer wants.

So yes, as I said at the start, you're either not understanding (or pretending to not understand) the distinction I'm drawing between principle and practice, nor, apparently, that acting in support of one's principles can have inherent value irrespective of its broader impact (or lack thereof). No point in continuing this; last word's all yours. Have a nice day.

[–]hio__State 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Closing a card definitely does, and I don't believe the reason for doing so is taken into account.

Yeah, if you close it and never get a new one. If you're sent a replacement card the line still shows as open, even if you're issued a new number. It doesn't affect your score.

But surely you must know better than issuing institutions and retailers who developed the system /s

[–]PM_ME_ALL_THE_BOOBIE 0 points1 point  (1 child)

But how are they reasonable steps if in practice they don't matter? Rational arguments are based in applications -- not theory. And, as even you admit, in practice it doesn't matter. When it's all said and done -- your actions aren't benefiting you.

[–]lurker628 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Rational arguments are based in applications -- not theory.

Better inform the entire field of pure mathematics!

A bit less snarky: I just don't agree with that broad perspective. Rationality absolutely can be based on theory and principle, without regard to external physical events.

If there was a realized detriment to writing "Ask for ID," then it may not be rational to do so given that, in practice, the result of doing so is nearly wholly internal. There's no such detriment.

I'm not arguing that everyone should write "Ask for ID."
I'm not arguing that businesses have a legal obligation to follow the instruction.
I'm not arguing that a business couldn't justifiably require that I add a signature (despite that also being wholly irrelevant from a practical perspective).

But in principle, the reasonable step of one's ID being checked when one's card is used is more likely to prevent fraud than not having one's ID checked. I believe that reasonable steps to prevent fraud are inherent valuable, in the same way that truth is preferable to ignorance.

I can't control what businesses and their cashiers do. I can control what I do. My actions benefit me in that I avoid internal conflict born of hypocrisy. To not write "Ask for ID," given that I am aware of the option of doing so, would be to avoid an action with no real detriment and which I consider inherently positive.

[–]Daeskmoor 5 points6 points  (6 children)

Guess I am old and don't want to soley rely on a company to cover my ass. Edit: call it stuborn obstinance.

[–]hio__State 4 points5 points  (4 children)

I rely on just not losing my card in the first place. After that I rely on being able to just deactivate it. After that I rely on Federal law that says I'm not liable past $50. And finally after that I'm relying on the bank just waiving that first $50 per their terms.

Just seems like there's already a lot of checks in place to keep your money safe where playing games with cashiers to get them to glance at an ID just ends up being needlessly complicating and time consuming. The biggest thing you should be doing is not losing your card in the first place and calling the bank right away if you do. Anything more than that is hedging against a risk that is in all practicality zero.

[–]Daeskmoor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Fair point. Haven't lost a card yet, and it is honestltly a bit overkill, but nobody has been held up with my shenanigans. Now the chips are another matter entirely...

[–]lazybeekeeper 0 points1 point  (2 children)

What law is this that you speak of?

[–]hio__State 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Under the FCBA, your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card tops out at $50. However, if you report the loss before your credit card is used, the FCBA says you are not responsible for any charges you didn’t authorize. If your credit card number is stolen, but not the card, you are not liable for unauthorized use.


[–]lazybeekeeper 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Awesome thanks!

[–]greenisin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The law protects credit cards so you don't have to rely on a company to protect you like you do with debit cards.

[–]Selfweaver 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You forget step 3, updating your card everywhere you used it, whether you remember it or not.

[–]SsurebreC 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"SEE ID" person here. I used to be like you and not do that. I didn't even sign my card. Why? Because I think like you - if something happens to it, I'd call the card provider.

Then I went to a local bookstore and loaded up on a bunch of books, about $120 worth. I went to check out and the clerk there said that my card needs to be signed. I told her I don't sign cards and I don't need to either. If she scans it, it'll go through. She said she needs to have something on the back of the card before she can swipe it.

So, /r/MaliciousCompliance, I wrote "SEE ID". She looked at it. Asked for my ID. I showed her my ID. She saw it, compared the name, looked at me again, then swiped the card and I got my books.

Then it just became habit since I go there often enough and the clerk is actually the owner.

I got a huge grin reading this announcement and I hope this happens so I can get brand new cards, unsigned, and bring them in along with paperwork from the card company that this is no longer needed.

[–]Damn_Dog_Inappropes 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It didn't use to be that easy to report a card stolen. And credit card companies would hold the user responsible for fraudulent charges that occurred in the interim.

[–]hio__State 4 points5 points  (0 children)

And credit card companies would hold the user responsible for fraudulent charges that occurred in the interim.

The Fair Credit Billing Act limits the liability a person has for a stolen credit card to $50. This isn't exactly a recent law, it was passed in 1974.

[–]fungobat -1 points0 points  (3 children)

It's still a huge inconvenience to get all of that fixed.

[–]hio__State 9 points10 points  (1 child)

If your card was stolen you've still got to call the bank anyway to deactivate it regardless of what you wrote on it, they'll reverse pending fraudulent charges on the same call.

[–]asielen 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can turn my card off instantly in an app on my phone and report a fraud expense at the same time. It is a pain to get a new card but reporting it has become super easy.

Last time I had to get a new card they didn't even bother turning off the old one, instead they just configured it to require two factor confirmation for each expense until the new one arrived. That was great because it meant I didn't have to go without the card while I waited. The only real annoying part was updating all my online payment accounts with the new number.

I also have text notifications turned on for every expense hitting my card. Seems annoying at first but it is easy to ignore for expected expenses (ie ones I physically just made) and I like to get the notifications for everything else (although typically those as just bills on auto pay.)

[–]ILikeChillyNights -4 points-3 points  (1 child)

You've never misplaced your wallet for a day? Do you call every creditor every time you forget your wallet in your worn jeans ?

[–]hio__State 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If I can't find my wallet the first place I look is the pants I wore the day before. Honestly I can't remember losing my wallet for a whole day, nor ever thinking it was lost outside my home. When I'm out and about it stays in my pocket unless I'm actively paying for something in which case it stays in my hand. I don't randomly set it down to lose it.

And I also have a phone where I can just look up pending charges. Unless I was sure it was "gone" I'd just wait until I saw an erroneous charge to call.

[–]lucasgorski99 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm a cashier, I never see anyone's card or their signature

It's just not an option

[–]HIVnotAdeathSentence 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I thought the chip was meant to get rid of asking to see your card and ID, most stores are using the chip now. Of course I don't think I've heard anyone talk about how easy theft would be.

[–]IkLms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No one checks them because it's pointless. 95% of people's digital signatures don't come close to matching their written signature.

My signature doesn't even match when it's written twice on the same page for instance.

But more than that, what are you even supposed to compare? How close does it have to be before you say it's good?

[–]SquarePeg37[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Same, and same.

[–]RebootTheServer -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Don't do that.

[–]OMGSPACERUSSIA 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I used to deliver pizza. I was honestly surprise by the number of people who would give me blank looks when I handed them a receipt and asked for a signature. And eventually I got to the point where I would tell them "signature and total." Because if you're going to stiff me on the tip then I'm damn well going to make you look me in the eye as you hand that receipt back.

[–]ThatsBushLeague 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Even the very few times they have asked to see an ID they look at it so quick it's not even possible for them to compare anything.

The signatures are basically pointless.

[–]SquarePeg37[S] 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Except for that one guy that holds it up, looks at the picture, looks at you, back at the picture, back at you, pauses, and then reluctantly gives it back, disappointed that they didn't stop a crime... Again.

[–]Argikeraunos 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Gotta pass the time somehow

[–]Neutrinobeam 10 points11 points  (4 children)

When are they going to implement PINS?

Chip and pin has been standard in everywhere not the US for how long?

[–]tmiw 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Probably never.

  1. The card networks and merchant acquirers approved a whole shit-ton of mostly US-specific terminals that don't have PIN pads at all (e.g. Square). Merchants aren't really going to want to replace them literally only 1-2 years after having already done so.
  2. The card networks only mentioned that signature's going away. You'd think they'd obviously mention that they're going with PIN "because of improved security" if that was part of the plan.
  3. Even if we did implement PIN, we'd still be about a generation behind in payment tech. Many other countries are going away from chip entirely and are tapping their cards and phones (at least for smaller amounts, anyway--no PIN required either). Why shouldn't we at least try to skip directly to the latest stuff?

That said, it wouldn't surprise me if we fully adopted* tapping cards/phones right around the time other countries move to retinal scanning or some other tech.

* Yes, I know Apple Pay came here first, but half of merchants still don't support NFC and there will likely be a significant number that never will without being forced to (e.g. Walmart). Not to mention that NFC use is still less than 1% of all transactions.

[–]LuckyBdx4 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Tap and go in Australia is good for $100AUD purchases, Phones are slowly being used also.

[–]Calgary72 5 points6 points  (0 children)

We have chips and PIN numbers for our credit cards in Canada, we have for years.

[–]PurpEL 4 points5 points  (0 children)

As a Canadian Its always a fucking hassel paying for shit in the US when im visiting. Debit card, asks to insert, then asks to swipe, then doesn't work, so i pull out my visa and it asks for a swipe then ask for chip and pin then the cashier wants a signature.

Dont even get me started about asking for my fucking zip code at a gas station what the hell is that shit.

I recently found out a trick for that though, use the first 3 numbers on your postal code and then 3 zeros. Itll work.

[–]vanishplusxzone 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Lol them pretending that the chip system they launched is at all secure is fucking cute.

Maybe if they made it an actual chip and pin sure, but just changing from the mag stripe to the chip or contactless doesn't do shit.

[–]hawaiian717 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Having a PIN (with or without chip) protects against use when the card itself is stolen. The chip alone protects against the card being cloned by copying the magnetic stripe, as it's not currently feasible to make a copy of the chip. Since there's significantly more money being lost to card cloning than use of lost/stolen cards, the banks decided, at least for now, to transition just to Chip and Signature.

[–]xHarryR 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Welcome to 2018 America! Signatures haven't been needed everywhere else in the world for atleast the last 10 years..

[–]Flocculencio 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In Singapore we still sign for credit card payments over $100. Most people here didn't use credit cards for non-cash payment, but rather a direct debit system with their ATM cards which does need a pin, and that's been around since the early 90s. Up until maybe ten years ago we didn't have the level of credit card use that the US has.

Nowadays more people do use credit cards, but rather than chip and pin retailers are going direct to tap and go. Currently you still have to sign a credit slip if your transaction is over $100 but I'm pretty sure that they're going to start phasing that out.

Android and Apple Pay, along with Chinese equivalents like AliPay are also making inroads.

[–]bad_luck_dragon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to sign using either my visa or master card.

I have literally only ever been IDd twice; both at the same bookstore, and I've been using these cards for 6 years.

[–]SquarePeg37[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Didn't want to make my opinion part of the main post but... FFS FINALLY!

What is the point of signatures any more these days? Can your recall anyone ever comparing your signature? How about crappy digital pads that look nothing like your signature? Do they hold up in court?

/Serious, if you have ever been in a daily situation where your signature was questioned, I'd love to hear about it.

[–]Ratnix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There's no reason it would need to be unless you reported your card stolen and there were fraudulent charges on it. Even back before everything was computerized and people were more likely to write a check than use a card, signatures didn't matter that much. It's only when you reported stolen checks or stolen credit cards would the signature need to be checked by the bank or CC company to be sure they were actually fraudulent.

[–]fungobat 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I wrote "James T. Kirk" on the back of my card. It's always fun when they ask to verify my I.D.

[–]srlemp 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I somehow got flagged at a Walmart self checkout for a 3 dollar purchase. I didn't have my card signed and the attendant wouldn't authorize the transaction. Glad this silly rule is going away, it didn't prevent fraud.

[–]fungobat 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That's insane.

[–]djmaciii 1 point2 points  (1 child)

i have signed my credit card receipts with an "X" for years

[–]RedBlimp 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Start signing with VOID

[–]Felinomancy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Huh. In my country (Malaysia) signatures are not accepted. You either use the Wave feature or otherwise you must enter the credit card's PIN.

[–]snapper1971 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I haven't used my signature for a credit/debit card transaction this century.

[–]hawaiian717 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Verge's headline gets it right but this post gets it backwards. Visa is the last of the big US credit card networks to eliminate signature. Mastercard made the announcement first, in October 2017, followed by Discover and American Express in December.

[–]TitoJackson5 2 points3 points  (1 child)

About time. I've been signing for my purchases with swiggly lines or geometric shapes for years. Nobody cares. I even wrote "not my signature" once, just for kicks. ...no one ever contacted me about my cleverness.

[–]Ratnix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think the only time it would ever be checked is if you reported a stolen card and fraudulent charges on it. Otherwise why would they need to check it? It's not like they have to check the signature for every purchase. If your just using your card it shouldn't matter.

[–]Calgary72 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I live in Canada, use my Visa card almost daily, haven’t signed anything regarding it in years. Have never had fraud issues.

[–]yaba3800 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Thats not relevant at all, thanks for the info though.

[–]Calgary72 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Neither is your opinion then I guess eh? Sod off.

[–]bertiebees 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But without this totally irrelevant security theatre how am I supposed to feel safe?!

[–]sp3kter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ive been signing my receipts with little stick men and other figures for nearly a decade, never had one declined.

[–]chisau 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Chip cards have moved the fraud liability to the merchants so the banks and other creditors don't need to stress signatures as much any longer.

[–]hawaiian717 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Fraud liability was only moved for merchants who didn't upgrade to chip readers and continue to use the magnetic stripe reader.

[–]chisau 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, that's what I said

[–]Biker_roadkill_LOL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I always throught the signature was for the store as a “contract to pay” not to verify identity for the CC company.

Either way, I just scribble some shit on the pad. It’s not even my signature.

[–]ork78600 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So signing is basically an American thing, everyone else has moved passed that.

I live in canada, under 100 bucks I tap my credit card, that’s it. Over 100 I enter my PIN number on the machine.

I’m 26, I’ve never had to sign for credit card purchases in Canada in my adult life.

[–]lessadessa 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I work at a bank. The only time I even look at someone's signature is if they are doing a cash advance because the cards say "not valid without a signature." I've turned people away for that reason but it's kind of dumb.

[–]Deviknyte 0 points1 point  (0 children)

But they need to switch to pin required.

[–]LilJourney 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've honestly thought the whole signature thing was only a set up to make sure the customer was in position to be caught on security footage and that would be used later if the customer tried to say the charge was fraudulent. Since digital signatures almost never ever match anyway it was the only explanation I could come up with.

[–]koi666 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Huh? When was the last time anyone signed for a credit card purchase? They might as well announce they won't be using those carbon paper impression machines anymore.

[–]ScammerC -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Dear America, welcome! Can you tap?

[–]u801e -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I wish they would make using a PIN mandatory. Almost every terminal I've seen has a number pad to enter it. If not, I'll just shop somewhere else until they get a terminal that does.

[–]Madman4sale -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I usually draw pictures, last time was at Best Buy where the guy could tell I had been watching alot of Bob Ross on Twitch

[–]_OldBay -1 points0 points  (0 children)

In other news, the US needs to get its shit together and make NFC available terminals commonplace.

[–]HIVnotAdeathSentence -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Credit card theft and use will never be easier.