MasterCard dropping requirement for signature on retail purchases

NEW YORK — MasterCard will no longer require customers to sign for any retail purchases they make after April 2018.

The company said the change, which applies to credit and debit cards, won’t impact security.

It pointed out that 80 percent of in-store MasterCard transactions in North America don’t require a customer signature at checkout.

“Eliminating the need for signature is another step in the digital evolution of payments and payment security,” MasterCard Executive Vice President Linda Kirkpatrick said in an RTTNews report.

The signature was originally meant as a security measure to verify that the customer making the purchase owned the card.

Technology has made that requirement obsolete.

Advances such as a secure network combined with new digital payment methods that include chip, tokenization, biometrics and specialized digital platforms use newer, more safe methods to prove identity the report says.

Kirkpatrick said merchants and customers both support the change.