American Express today announced it is eliminating the requirement for merchants to collect Card Members’ signatures for all purchase transactions at the point of sale beginning in April 2018. The move, which applies globally to all American Express-accepting merchants, will help provide a more consistent and simplified checkout experience for merchants and Card Members in regions around the world, speed up the process of paying in store and help reduce merchants’ operating expenses associated with retaining signatures.
The elimination of American Express’ signature requirements will apply to purchase transactions of all amounts at the point of sale. American Express is the first payment network to announce this change globally, expanding previous policy changes it has made in various regions. For example, American Express has already eliminated signature requirements for transactions at the checkout that are under $50 in the U.S., under $100 CAD in Canada, and under £30 in the U.K. In regions outside the U.S. where signatures are already less common, this change can help provide a more consistent checkout experience for Card Members traveling from countries where signatures are more common. Once this change takes effect in April 2018, merchants will still have the option to collect Card Members’ signatures at the point of sale if they choose to do so, and must continue to collect signatures if they are required to do so by applicable law in a particular jurisdiction.
Mastercard and Discover made similar announcements, all with the same April 2018 timeline for implementation.