Walmart and Target are quietly killing one of the most annoying things about shopping in stores

credit card receiptPascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are no longer requiring customers to sign their receipts when checking out.
  • While companies can continue to require customers' signatures, retail giants like Walmart and Target are also stopping the "worthless" practice.
  • With the rise of online shopping and new tech like EMV chips in credit cards, signatures have become less necessary as a safety measure - and simply slow down lines.

As credit-card companies kill customer signature requirements, retailers such as Walmart and Target are following suit.

Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express have either already stopped or will soon no longer require customers to sign their receipts when checking out. The credit-card companies' new policies started rolling out earlier in April.

"We believe making the signature requirement optional for EMV chip-enabled merchants is the responsible next step to enhance security and convenience at the point of sale," Dan Sanford, Visa's vice president of consumer products, said in a company blog post in January.

While the credit-card companies will no longer require customers' signatures, retailers have the option to continue the requirement. However, it seems that few major retail companies will do so.

Target plans to eliminate signatures this month, CNBC reported. A Walmart representative told CNBC that the company considers signatures "worthless," and will get rid of them completely soon.

Signatures are more likely to continue at smaller retailers, at least for a while longer. ShopKeep and Square, two payment companies used primarily by small businesses, told CNBC that they had no plans to update their systems to automatically skip the step of requiring customers' signatures.

According to the companies' executives, with the rise of online shopping and new tech like EMV chips in credit cards, signatures have become less necessary as a safety measure.

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