Food by VICE

REJOICE: You May Never Have to Scribble Your Signature on a Stupid Receipt Again

Great news for AmEx, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa users who also dine at restaurants.

by Mayukh Sen
Mar 28 2018, 10:13pm

Photo via Pxhere

Picture it, Sophia Petrillo-style: You’re dining out. You’ve finished your meal. The check arrives. You hand your card in. You wait an eternity for the waitstaff to retrieve it. It comes back. You do some slapdash mental math or bust out that trusty smartphone calc to tip accordingly.

And then comes the awful last step: You are forced to scribble your name in some grotesque cursive that’d make your first grade teacher wince.

God, what a chore! And so many avenues for chaos, too. Did you sign the customer copy instead of the merchant copy, you idiot? Does this difference actually matter? Why does this Bic Clic pen suck?

I've got great news, nerds: Signing receipts will be a matter of the past beginning on April 1 . As Restaurant Business reported on Tuesday, a measure from four of America’s largest credit card companies—American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa—is set to go into effect on Sunday, eliminating the need to sign your receipt once a merchant processes your card.

These shifts in individual company policies began in October, as NPR notes, when MasterCard formally announced it would "no longer require signatures at checkout for any credit or debit purchases in Canada and the US" Discover, American Express, and Visa followed suit in the months after.

These measures apply to various countries depending on the company. A MasterCard spokesperson confirmed to MUNCHIES over email on Wednesday that the company has eliminated the need for signatures for "all MasterCard in-store transactions in the US and Canada," while an American Express spokesperson clarified to MUNCHIES that it is "the only payment network to make this change globally." According to NPR, Discover has done away with signatures within the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and Visa has applied it to all of North America. (Neither Discover nor Visa responded to immediate request for further comment from MUNCHIES.)

The companies are relying on their faith that EMV cards, equipped with little blotches of smart skin some of you crazy kids call “chips,” will prevent some fraudster from swiping your metadata and going on a reckless spree through a Bloomingdale’s in Indiana. (This happened to me and I hate it.) Historically, restaurants have required signatures from patrons to safeguard against the potential for fraud, but EMV cards have been substantially useful in reducing fraud occurrences since the transition to chip technology began in 2015.

Can’t wait! Anything to make sure some stranger doesn't go hog-wild in a Minnesota vape store. (This has also happened to me.)

Next step? Hell, why not abolish paper receipts altogether? Those flimsy wastes of paper, decimating our planet one dumb sheet of tree at a time. All in the name of “closing your transaction.” Ridiculous.