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Chelsea Hoag

No Signature Required: Visa Encourages Contactless Payments

Information provided via Visa Business News

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for contactless payments, Visa is extending their policy that a cardholder’s signature is optional for all businesses, even if they have not deployed chip capabilities, to reduce the need for customers to interact physically with point-of-sale terminals.  

Businesses in all regions now have the option to no longer need a signature as a cardholder verification method, except where applicable laws or regulations otherwise require a signature.

Visa urges acquirers and their agents to remind all businesses about these options to minimize merchant / customer interaction at the point of sale. Visa strongly recommends no longer requiring signatures for any transaction / amount. 

Businesses will be able to further streamline the point of sale experience for any transaction type (tap, dip or swipe) or amount by no longer needing a signature. For businesses that elect to stop capturing a signature, they can quickly and easily implement a “No Signature” policy by suppressing or turning off the signature prompt in the payment application. Alternatively, businesses may choose to make no changes and simply ignore the signature prompt altogether. To maintain processing interoperability, terminals must continue to support signatures; specifically for chip capable businesses , the kernel in the terminal must not be changed to remove the signature function.  

Businesses may also remove the signature line on transaction receipts or simply ignore it if printed. 

Generally, removing signature prompting is a small change to the terminal’s settings or software for which no re-certification is needed.  

There are no changes to the acceptance of PIN as a cardholder verification method in any country. Existing requirements continue to apply for all businesses in all regions; these changes apply only to obtaining a signature.

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