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Big Change in Card Transaction Signature Requirements

Posted Jul 19, 2018

Good news for those of you running credit card sales on EMV-accepting terminals.  In April of this year, the four major card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) essentially eliminated the need for merchants to collect a signature from the customer during a face-to-face credit card transaction.  And there is no transaction amount limit for doing so;  it applies to any dollar amount.

Better yet, this change does not shift any liability for fraud either!

Please be aware that Visa will only waive the signature requirement if your terminals are accepting EMV (chip) cards.  If you still use swipe/stripe readers, or enter card info manually, you still need to collect a signature.

MasterCard also requires merchants to not change any of the CVM (Cardholder Verification Method) fields that are programmed into the software running your transaction.  You can skip the signature step, but you cannot remove it from the “form.”  MasterCard also requires that your receipt (or via an email) must state the transaction receipt will govern the resolution of any dispute.

Note, if for some reason you wish to continue having customers sign, you can.  But it’s tough to see why you’d want to.

To be sure you follow the card brands’ requirements completely though, we strongly recommend that you review your card transaction process and these requirement changes with your merchant services provider.  They will work with you to ensure your system is set up correctly and not in violation of any requirements.

FYI, if your merchant services provider is unable to help, feel free to give us a call at 866-253-2227.  We’d be glad to help you figure it all out.  Just ask for Andrew.