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Restaurant Customers May No Longer Have to Sign Credit Card Slips

Card issuers say chip technology has largely reduced fraudulent transactions

Paying a restaurant check with a credit card Shutterstock

Paying the tab at the end of a meal may soon get a tiny bit faster: Starting this Sunday, diners who pay with a credit card may no longer have to sign their receipt, Restaurant Business reports.

The four biggest credit card providers — Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express — will no longer require most restaurants to obtain customer signatures, saying that chip technology has largely curbed fraudulent credit card use.

Per Restaurant Business, “Restaurants that have not yet switched to EMV technology... or fear the use of a bogus card can still ask for the user’s signature, but it will no longer be required.”

Under current credit card rules, failing to sign a credit card slip essentially means the customer is not agreeing to the card’s terms and conditions for that purchase, meaning the card holder could later dispute the charge and have a good chance of getting it reversed.

Credit card companies say a majority of all transactions are now completed without a signature, thanks to the rise in online shopping, mobile payments, and the use of tap-and-go technology.

EMV technology has long been the standard in many parts of the world including Europe, but wasn’t adopted in the U.S. until 2015. It’s much more difficult and costly for would-be fraudsters to steal customer data from chip cards because the data is encrypted and, unlike magnetic stripe cards, can’t be captured using cheap, easy-to-obtain card skimmers.

It remains to be seen how exactly the lack of signature requirements will play out at full-service restaurants, where diners typically add a tip and their signature after their card is initially run for the price of their meal.

Restaurants No Longer Need to Wait for Customer Credit Card Signatures [RB]