skip to main content

Dollar Scholar Asks: Why Do We Sign Credit Card Receipts?


So why do some places still ask for signatures?

Jared Drieling, chief innovation officer at payments firm The Strawhecker Group, says that has to do with a method called EMV, which is connected to chip and PIN cards. Migrating to EMV is safer, but it requires merchants to update their point-of-sale terminals (aka card machines). While that’s NBD for big franchises like Target, it can be expensive for smaller businesses like the local gas station.

“If you’re a merchant and don’t have a terminal that can process a chip card, your alternative would be to go back to the old route,” Drieling says.

That means making me sign a receipt — and then saving it just in case the transaction comes back to haunt them. But because that’s so rare nowadays, the specifics of what my signature looks like don’t usually matter.

“Many consumers have adapted to the habit or expectation of signature upon transaction, but fraud technology and commerce have been moving away from this practice for some time,” Hopkins adds.

Read More