Unattended Card Payments Inc. (UCP Inc.) is dedicated to providing EMV compliant Hardware and Payment Gateway solutions for Unattended card payment terminals in the North American market.

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The End of Signatures for Credit Transactions

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The End of Signatures for Credit Transactions is Near

If you live in the US and use a credit card for in store purchases you are probably used to signing your name or, if you are like me, scribbling on a receipt or electronic signature pad in order to complete the transaction. You have also probably thought to yourself, is this really necessary, is this adding any extra security against someone using my card without my consent? When you stop and think about it the answer is… no, it doesn’t.

While it would be a lot more secure to do what most other countries have done and assign PINs to credit cards just like our debit cards have, the US card issuers thought chip and signature would provide for a smoother migration to EMV. With the switch to EMV chip cards the card issuers have security measures in place that are exponentially better than that of the old magstipe cards. Due to this, all major card brands have announced that they are dropping the signature requirement for credit purchases in North America.

The four major card brands in the US, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are changing the requirements for credit card signatures effective April 2018. Each card issuer is adding new rules or amending the old ones regarding signatures. Being asked to sign for your credit card purchase won’t stop across the board but starting April 2018 you can expect it to occur a lot less frequently. Card fraud at merchant locations using EMV card terminals has fallen by two-thirds according to Visa so I think it’s safe to say that over the past 2 plus years the chips are doing their job.


All this said, there are still a ton of merchants out there who have not yet made the EMV migration and for them the signatures remain. The most common reason that these merchants have not made the switch is cost. While the EMV capable terminals can be costly, they are a worthwhile investment. Not only will a merchant be able to stop hassling their customers with using a pen that never seems to write on the receipt or trying to sign their name using an electronic signature pad they are protecting themselves against being liable for fraudulent card present transactions. That’s right merchants who are still using magstripe, think of the cost associated in making the EMV migration as insurance because you would never start a business without being insured right?


Unattended Card Payments Inc.


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EMV on CBS 60 Minutes

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Last night on 60 Minutes there was a segment on credit card fraud in America. The news segment included interviews with some interesting industry professionals. The first interview was with Dave Dewalt, CEO of FireEye. Mr. Dewalt said that 97% of companies experience security breaches. I don’t believe that the security breaches Mr. Dewalt is talking about in this statistic are solely financial in nature. However it does make one stop and think about securing card holder data. Breaches of this variety cary penalties in the millions, and also represents a significant financial burden to card issuing banks as well. Mr. Dewalt also confirms a statement by the interviewer, Bill Whitaker, that the average time between infection and detection of malicious software on company networks is 229 days! FireEye is an interesting cyber security company worth checking out; if even only for the  live Cyber Threat Map on their homepage. (www.fireeye.com

Brian Kerbs was also interviewed for the segment. He writes a cyber security blog read by many professionals within the financial arena. (www.kerbsonsecurity.com) A part of what Mr. Kerbs does is search the dark corners of the internet where batches of credit card data called “dumps" are available for purchase. He often is the first one aware of security breaches and has alerted many companies to breaches that had gone undetected. Using these dumps and some fairly accessible card stock, and printing/encoding hardware, a person with some intermediate computer skills would have all they need to start swiping and signing on a victim's account.
Another interesting contributor to the segment was Mallory Duncan, Sr. VP and General Council, at the National Retail Federation. (www.nrf.com) His comments went right to the heart of the problem for retail merchants and issuing banks. He can be quoted as saying that our current magnetic stripe cards are the “underlying problem,” and that they are “fundamentally fraud prone.” The light at the end of the tunnel for banks and merchants is the EMV chip card. Finally, because of newer cryptography methods, and the inclusion of a more secure card holder verification method; it will be nearly impossible for cyber thieves to breach networks and steal usable data to the extent they are now. The biggest benefit to the bank that issued the card is that updates can be sent to the chip on the card every time it is inserted into a terminal. The ability to update user’s cards in this fashion does away with the financial and logistical hardship of having to send out new magnetic stripe cards every time a possible breach occurs. 
We have seen what implementing EMV in other regions of the world has done to fight fraud. This time next year it will be interesting to see how the number of fraudulent transactions and breaches involving stolen credit card data stacks up against 2014’s numbers. 
The entire 60 Minutes segment and transcript can be viewed here.
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Welcome to the UCP-Inc blog

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Coming soon.

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Our Partners

Hemisphere West Europe Ltd are specialists in attended and unattended payment solutions for the UK and European markets.

Visit website www.hweurope.com

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    Las Vegas, Nevada 89113

Tel: 702 – 802 – 3504

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