Credit card signatures are not being dropped in South Africa

Visa and Mastercard do not have immediate plans to drop the requirement for credit card signatures in South Africa.

The companies made the statement to MyBroadband following reports in the US that the verification method was being stopped in the country.

American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa reportedly conceded that signatures were poor to prove identity, and they would stop requiring users to sign credit card slips when purchasing goods.

The change is optional, however, and it is up to retailers to decide whether they require shoppers to sign slips.

The news followed Mastercard stating in October 2017 that it would do away with the need to sign your name in the US and Canada.

American Express said the move will provide a simplified checkout experience for merchants and card holders.

No change in SA

Mark Elliott, Division President for Mastercard Southern Africa, told MyBroadband that while US and Canadian merchants can forgo cardholder signatures in-store, Mastercard uses multiple layers of security globally to protect transactions.

“Our technologies, processes, and expertise enable us to address threats while also enhancing the experience related to the payment device,” said Elliot.

“There are several scores of discrete checks and layers that we have put in place to protect the payments system, including the use of signatures, where necessary.”

In South Africa, however, merchants still need to support signatures as a cardholder verification method.

“Even though chip cards that require a PIN are dominant in South Africa, certain issuers still provide magstripe cards that require signature in some instances.”

Visa said the no-signature announcement from it only pertains to North America at this time.

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Credit card signatures are not being dropped in South Africa