Beginning April 2018, VISA will no longer require North American merchants to collect signatures by EMV contact or contactless chip-enabled merchants.
This move has been sought after by many big box merchants to speed up check-out processing. It also shows that VISA and merchants are comfortable with the security enhancements that EMV chip cards bring to retail.
In a statement, VISA said, “Simultaneously, Visa continues to invest in emerging capabilities that leverage advanced analytics and biometrics to define the future of payments security.”
Since the introduction of EMV chip technology, VISA has deployed over 460 million EMV chip cards and 2.5 million EMV chip-enabled readers at merchant locations.
Since EMV chip cards launched in the U.S. about two years ago, fraud declined 66 percent at EMV chip-enabled merchants.
It is this reduction in fraud statistics that enables VISA and other card issuers such as American Express, to waive the signature requirement.
“We believe making the signature requirement optional for EMV chip-enabled merchants is the responsible next step to enhance security and convenience at the point of sale.”
Dan Sanford, vice president, consumer products, Visa
Ironically, as merchants cheer the waiving of signatures by VISA and others, it was the same U.S. merchants that kept the EMV technology from implementation in the U.S. for years.
EMV chip card were introduced in Canada since about 2008 with great success. While in the U.S., retailers and banks battled about who would be responsible for the cost to change from swipe only terminals to EMV chip-enabled readers.
It wasn’t until the massive security breach during the 2013 holiday season that exposed personal data of about 110 million Target customers that banks and retailers finally got their act together on the EMV chip issue.
While this news doesn’t directly impact eCommerce sellers, some of the underlying fraud detection algorithms and detection methods do apply.
It also means that with a reduction in security breaches at the terminal end at big box retailers, there should be fewer fraudulent credit card numbers available on the darknet. And that should also help reduce fraud at the eCommerce level by thieves.
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