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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

American Express today announced plans to eliminate signature requirements when customers make credit or debit card purchases, joining both Mastercard and Discover.

All three companies plan to stop asking customers to provide a signature when making a purchase in the United States and Canada starting in April of 2018. The change is designed to allow for a more consistent, streamlined, and speedy checkout experience for both merchants and cardholders.

Credit and debit card companies have long required signatures for purchases as an added security measure, but with technology improvements that include contactless payments and the adoption of EMV chip technology, signatures are no longer a necessity.
"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. In addition, the majority of American Express transactions today already do not require a signature at the point of sale as a result of previous policy changes we made to help our merchants."
American Express has already phased out signature requirements for purchases under $50 in the United States, as have other credit card companies, and the complete elimination of the signature is a shift that consumers are likely to welcome.

Doing away with signature requirements for credit and debit card transactions will also streamline the Apple Pay process in the United States when using a Mastercard, Discover, or American Express card. With Apple Pay, a signature can on occasion be required for purchases over $50 in the United States, a step that may be eliminated once the card changes are introduced.

Apple Pay customers in other countries that have similar restrictions may also see them lifted when using American Express, but there are locations like Canada where contactless payments are not permitted for large purchases. In these situations, there will be no improvements to the Apple Pay process.

While Mastercard and Discover have said the change applies to the United States and Canada, American Express plans to eliminate signature requirements globally on purchase transactions of all amounts. Merchants are, however, still able to collect signatures if required to do so by an applicable law in a particular jurisdiction.

Article Link: American Express, Mastercard and Discover to Eliminate Signature Requirement for Purchases in April 2018


macrumors newbie
Apr 29, 2016
I haven't signed or swiped a card in probably over 10 years. Tap and chip + pin is the way to go. My first tap card was a MasterCard in 2007, and have never had to sign with it. I do like that Apple Pay is accepted pretty much everywhere except Walmart, but I've never had to sign using MasterCard on it. Is this just in 3rd world countries that don't have these later technologies yet?
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Jul 11, 2008
So what about at restaurants, like when a tip is involved? Is there an eventual way to add tips using Apple Pay and not have to sign anything at all? I hate having to wait for the server to (1) give me the bill, (2) pick up the bill WITH credit card in the pocket, (3) return the bill with credit card, merchant copy and customer copy, and (4) me to calculate the tip, fill in the blanks, sign the appropriate copy, put my credit card back in the wallet, and make my way out of the establishment. Meanwhile, I've just given my credit card information to a random server who could very easily be taking pictures of the front and back of my card while they are supposedly putting the charge through. Ugh...what a horrible process!!

Doesn't it seem like they could install some device on each table where you could do Apple Pay (or contactless payment) right there, have the device calculate an exact percentage tip, run the whole charge, and have it so you never need the server for any of that process?
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macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2006
who signs for apple pay now anyways?

i don't know all the technical details, but there seems to be 2 tiers of NFC payments. "full" applepay results in a transaction with no signature. but at a lot of places i go, the NFC does work, but the terminal always asks for a signature. so in that case the apple pay is sort of just a proxy for using a card, which would also require a signature.


macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2008
Good. About time to get rid of wet signatures. Honestly, I thought Chip & Pin was the norm everywhere quite a while ago. I can't recall the last time I had to sign a piece of paper to use any of my credit cards.


macrumors 68030
Jul 10, 2012
Was kinda hoping that this would be the step enabling Costco USA to start accepting Apple Pay but then realized Visa was not on the list.

Costco is a hot mess regarding contactless:
- in Canada, their stores accept it but their card doesn’t support Apple Pay;
- in USA, their Visa card accepts it but their stores don’t.

How stupid!
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macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
The UK phased out the signature requirement yearssssssss ago!

Am I missing something here or is the US seriously Neanderthal?!
We don’t have Chip and PIN, we literally have something called Chip and Signature.

You insert the chip and sign a screen.

But get this.....

Our Visa/MC debit cards are chip and PIN! Lol! So the concept is not foreign to us at all!

The US is a payments hot mess but at least we do have the best card acceptance rates. My last favorite cash only restaurant in my area just got new card readers with Contactless, Chip and PIN and Chip and “whatever finger tip signature thing you can scribble on a screen”

And using US chip and signature cards in other countries always resulted in confused cashiers without pens. Because terminals outside the US don’t have a facility to sign on a screen. But at least U.K. chip and PIN cards work fine on US terminals, there’s still a PIN pad on them.


macrumors 68030
Jul 10, 2012
I used ApplePay four times this past Saturday. The only time I didn’t have to sign was at the Apple Store. So, I guess the answer to your question is ME, at least.
I paid tonite in Switzerland at two stores with my USA issued Visa card exceeded the 50 CHF limit and had to sign for both (actually a scribbled initial because I’ll be dammed if I’ll put a copy of my sig on a paper out of my control. )
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