As more face-to-face merchants adopt EMV-enabled payment terminals in the United States, major card brands have evaluated the need to continue collecting cardholder’s signature as a valid verification method and have determined that the security and fraud protection from EMV adoption allows merchants to discontinue the collection of signatures. Effective April 13, 2018, the four major networks will no longer utilize signatures during dispute procedures. The following details each network’s change to existing requirements.
For all EMV-enabled merchants in the United States and Canada, the requirement to accept and validate a signature for Visa transactions will be optional regardless of transaction amount. The requirements to keep transaction receipts and for acquirers to fulfill retrieval requests is also removed. Merchants that are not enabled for contact EMV will still be liable for counterfeit fraud when it occurs on a chip-enabled card, regardless of whether there is a signature, PIN, or “no CVM.”
The requirement to accept and validate a signature for Mastercard will be optional for all merchants in the United States and Canada. Merchants may collect signatures during face-to-face transactions, however, they will not be used as a remedy for a cardholder dispute. For software and hardware developers, the set of Cardholder Verification Methods (CVMs) supported by the terminal must not be changed. Merchants who decide to not collect cardholder signature may suppress signature prompting on their electronic signature capture devices or receipts.
For face-to-face and e-commerce transactions, Mastercard requires a merchant’s refund policy must be clearly printed or displayed to a customer before authorization of a transaction. Upon completion of a transaction, the disclaimer must be clearly printed on a receipt or invoice. Also, a merchant must provide any reason for a charge related to loss/theft/damages, a reasonable repair estimate, and then have the cardholder’s authorization or authentication (via Securecode or Identity Check for e-commerce) before performing a card-read transaction.
American Express has eliminated the requirement for merchants to collect signatures for all purchase transactions at the point-of-sale. References to the word “signature” will be removed and allow merchants to request signatures if they so choose (or in accordance with applicable law). American Express will not exercise chargebacks based on failure to obtain a signature. When responding to chargebacks and inquiries, merchants are encouraged to provide support that demonstrates acknowledgement of the receipt of goods/services (e.g., contract, delivery receipt, etc.). But the charge record no longer requires a signature. This rule change applies to all card-present transactions (magstripe, EMV, contactless) globally regardless of merchant size, transaction amount or industry.
Discover and PULSE no longer require signature at the point of sale for credit and debit transactions on the Discover Global Network in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
This content is not intended to provide a complete explanation of applicable laws, rules, or regulations. It should not be considered legal or compliance advice. Individual situations will differ, and any questions or concerns should be discussed with your own lawyers and advisors.
-Worldpay, April 12, 2018