Say goodbye to credit card signatures.
The four major U.S. credit card companies will stop asking for signatures on the back of their distributed credit cards, according to The Verge. The signatures will no longer be required for in-store purchases.
American Express, Mastercard and Discover will go live with this change Friday. Visa will make the change later this month.
But the switch is optional for retailers, who can still determine when they will stop asking for signatures, according to The New York Times.
For example, Target will stop asking for signatures later this month. Walmart will also stop asking for them soon.
Mastercard told The New York Times that it has wanted to do away with card signatures for years “but held off until cards embedded with computer chips became common.”
As Fortune reported, signatures don’t always help. Retailers will often see messy signatures that they can’t understand.1 comment on this story
“When signatures are required, people often scribble a few lines on a keypad or receipt and move along,” according to Fortune. “And since that’s not verified by the retailer, it’s impossible to know whether the person who signed is really authorized to make a purchase with a chosen credit card.”
The lack of signatures will likely speed up checkout lines at stores.
However, signatures provide some certain benefits.
“There are occasional advantages to signatures. It can help stores when they challenge customers making dodgy claims about past bills. However, the scribbles have largely become pointless outside of the very largest transactions,” according to Engadget.