Why your Mastercard could look different in 2019

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The back of your Mastercard is going to look very different beginning in the new year.

In April 2019, Mastercard issuers all over the world will no longer have to put a signature panel on the reverse of your card.

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Mastercard’s signature panel is going away

This latest change isn’t as abrupt as it might seem. Two years ago, in October 2017, Mastercard announced their intent to stop requiring signatures at the register when you use one of their cards.

That change officially went into effect in April 2018, and other card issuers began catching on to the favorable response to the move from both retailers and consumers.

Pretty soon,  multiple credit card issuers began moving away from collecting signatures when you perform a transaction at a store.

Meanwhile, Mastercard has continued to reduce friction at the point of sale by becoming the first network to make signatures optional both on the card and on the receipt when you’re at checkout, according to a press release.

When you think about it, signing for a purchase is an idea that goes back to the early days of credit cards, when a signature in person was compared to the signature on the back of a card for verification purposes.

However, in today’s digital world, that same verification happens behind the scenes through any of a number of modern methods like chips, tokenization and/or biometrics.

It’s important to note that not signing for an in-store purchase doesn’t make your transaction any less safe.

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That’s because zero-fraud-liability is pretty much standard across the industry and a big part of what makes credit card purchases far superior to debit card transactions.

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