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Discover is the latest major credit card company to do away with signatures

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Image: Discovery

Discover is the latest credit card company to announce that it won’t require customers to sign their name when checking out starting in April 2018.

The company feels that its implementation of “digital authentication technologies such as tokenization, multi-factor authentication, and biometrics ... are more secure than requiring a signature” and are better suited to protect customers than comparing two scribbled signatures.

And while we largely have to take Discover at its word here, it’s hard to argue for the signature’s usefulness, at least in the US. I can’t even remember the last time I bothered to write out actual letters for my signature, much less had a cashier call me out on it. (Except in England, where I was forced to pay in cash at a Tesco’s because I hadn’t signed the back of my card and they had nothing to compare my signature to, but that’s a different story.)

And considering that people buy things online without signatures all the time, it doesn’t seem that the hand-scrawled receipt is really accomplishing much these days.

Discover isn’t the first to do away with signatures, either — Mastercard also announced earlier this year that it wouldn’t be requiring signatures on purchases with its cards after April 2018.