Credit card signatures are about to become a thing of the past, with American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover — the four major US credit card companies — set to do away with the requirement for signatures on in-store purchases in the coming days. American Express, Mastercard, and Discover have all confirmed that they’ll be flipping the switch on April 13th, while Visa should be following later in the month.
We’ve known it was coming for a while, with all four companies announcing that they’d be eliminating the signature sometime in April. But tomorrow will mark the beginning of the end for the signature, which admittedly has been on the way out for years. Most credit card companies stopped requiring them for smaller transactions as early as 2010, and things like checks and handwritten letters have been on the decline for decades with the advent of the smartphone and computer.
Plus, as The New York Times points out, the signature isn’t being dealt a single death blow all at once. All that the major credit card companies are doing is getting rid of the requirement for companies to have a signature: it’ll be up to stores to decide whether or not they’d like to eliminate them. Some, like Target and Walmart, plan to get rid of them later this month, while others — like Square, which has card readers used by a huge number of small merchants — will still require you to scrawl your John Hancock to authenticate your purchase.
Different credit card companies are also getting rid of the restriction in slightly…