Frictionless Transaction Rubs the Wrong Way

The other day, Brian swiped his debit card at Academy sports and outdoor equipment palace. Being a good consumer, he always chooses credit over debit. However, instead of having to sign a screen or a slip, the cashier handed him his bags and receipt and said, “Thanks, have a good day.” No ID, no sig, nothing.

What do you think?

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  1. BenP says:

    The retailer is actually risking more here than the consumer. While it does open up consumers to risk of unchecked charges, those will all be easily reversed with one call to a credit card company. Even in this digital age, without a signature, credit card transactions can be disputed and consumer will always win if merchant can’t produce the signature. As long as you review your credit card statement – transactions like this are safe.

  2. Brian Gee says:

    That happened to me a while back. “Don’t I need to sign something?” I asked. The cashier said that they don’t need signatures if its less than $25.

    I’ve never really thought a signature amounted to much anyway. I doubt if mine would hold up in court. In fact when I bought my house, the notary didn’t like my signature on the paperwork. She made me sign my name “legibly”.

    “I can do that, but then its not my signature.”

    I’m pretty sure the documents are still legal. I don’t think the bank will let me out of the mortgage ‘cuz my signature doesn’t match.

  3. gte910h says:

    I think it’s more than fine.

    Any credit card company will just remove fraudlent charges quickly and without argument, unless they are an unreasonably large portion of your expenditures.


  4. Par for the course, I’d say. For the last year or so, I’ve been signing almost every credit card receipt with a big honkin’ illiterate looking “X”. How many cashiers have noticed? 0.

    I also bought something at Frye’s Electronics the other day. I didn’t have my wallet and credit card, but my wife’s. The cashier asked to see my ID. “Uhhh,” says I. “It’s actually my wife’s card. I have her ID…”

    Prominent Supraorbital Torus Cashier Guy stared blankly at me for a minute before replying, “Oh. Uh, ok. Ook,” and I was on my way.

  5. Chris Gibson says:

    Yeah, here in Texas-land, Walgreens has been doing that for charges under $50 for a while. Which was probably just getting me ready for the joy of Sonic drivethru, where now I can just slide my happy card in and out of the slot, with nary a signature to delay me from sinking my chompers into the heap of meat and bread and cheese that awaits me. And I wasn’t being alliterative – they really do just provide a slot right at each drive-thru menu board to take your credit card!

  6. ModerateSnark says:

    Yeah, I agree with all the comments. There’s nothing that strange about that transaction.

    Think of pay-at-the-pump gas. Aren’t we glad there’s no signature or ID check there?

    No one will have any trouble using your stolen card until you notice it is missing and call to cancel it.

    The thing to do is guard your card like a purse-carrying human guards its purse.

    (See how I said that without being sexist?)

  7. Mr. Black says:

    Signing for a credit card transaction never seemed secure for me, as your signature is on the back of the card. If you just copy anything similar (even the ‘x’ for some people) its never questioned…especially on the digital signature readers where the sensitivity is screwed up, or (like me you’re left handed) and the pen’s teather doesn’t stretch around to use with your left hand.

  8. Mauvaise says:

    My gas station (Arco) does perform some kind of verification if I want to use my credit card at the pump. They don’t make me sign, but they do require me to input my billing address zip code. If it doesn’t match, they will decline. Granted, it might not be any more secure but it gives me a false sense of security. That’s really all I ask for out of this world.

  9. homerjay says:

    Whatever happened to the Citibank picture-card? That seemed to make SO much sense- way more than a very easily copiable signature.

  10. WMeredith says:

    What about choosing credit over debit makes you a good consumer?

  11. Ran Kailie says:

    Chris I hate you for having a sonic near you. I curse the Sonic gods for showing their damnable commercials here and advertising when the nearest one is over 100 miles away.

    I hate it but a lot of places do this now, I have to offer my card to cashiers at most places and even then many times they won’t take it.

    This is why I check my bank account at least once a day.