Australian Credit Card Holders in near future need not Sign anymore on Merchant Slips


MasterCard and Visa in a joint application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have supported PIN only credit card transaction. Both the major card issuers feel that the Signature requirement on Credit Card Slips is the major cause for credit card fraud.

Hence, they have opined that only PIN@POS be adopted to reduce the card fraud. PINs are difficult to be stolen, whereas signatures can easily be forged. Moreover, I am not sure as to how many merchants verify the signature on the card and on the slip. In India, the % is less .05%.

As PIN@POS involves a major infrastructure upgrade, small merchants are very receptive to this idea. Moreover they feel that the transactions volumes might reduce. Mobile eftpos terminals have to be brought or customers have to walk to the cash counter. This should not be a major deterrent, as the mobile eftpos terminals are not that expensive.

However, in India after introduction of an additional factor of authentication for CNP (Card-not-Present) transactions, the value and volume have gone up. Business associations had the same fear, that RBI’s move on CNP transactions would affect eCommerce. But, the Indian consumers are savvier.

Other card issuers like American Express, Diners also support Visa and MasterCard on this. However, American Express is not a signatory to the proposal, as signing the proposal might be viewed as cartelization!!

As it is already Visas’ PayWave, MasterCards’ PayPass, digital wallets, mobile apps, online payments do not use Signature as an authentication tool.


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