If you have dreaded holding up the line at the checkout counter to sign for Credit Card purchases in the past, you must be delighted to learn about a new ruling. Earlier this month, the major credit card companies put a no signature policy into effect. A report by CreditCards.com provided the information I used in this article.

Credit card companies had been talking about this for a while. On April 13, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express all agreed to do away with the signature requirement this month.

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Credit card companies

The big four credit card companies have spoken loud and clear, and consumers are happy to hear the good news that they are not required to sign their receipt on the dotted line any longer.

Mastercard and Discover are doing away with signatures across North America. American Express is doing away with signatures worldwide. Visa may ask for a signature if you swipe your credit card instead of using one with a chip. In the future, swiping will be eliminated in all stores.

Mastercard has been planning this since October 2017. The company announced that it would make signatures optional starting in April. More than 80 percent of Mastercard transactions don't need a signature for their in-store credit and debit purchases.

Visa announced on January 12, that it would make the signature requirement optional for consumers who use their card with the chip. American Express announced on December 11, 2017, that it would drop the signature requirement this month. Discover said on December 6, 2017, that it was doing away with the signature requirement because of updated security measures.

What this means for cardholders

Cardholders can be assured that all the credit card companies have taken the necessary precautions so that signatures are no longer required to fight fraud. Under normal circumstances, shoppers will no longer have to hold up the line while they are signing for purchases. However, cashiers will still have the option of asking for a signature if they suspect something suspicious.

Jack Jania, senior vice president of strategic alliances at Gemalto says this is beneficial for both the shoppers and merchants because it will save time at the checkout counters. This will be especially helpful during peak shopping days such as Black Friday, during the Christmas holidays, and when there are big sales.

People who use cards with chips might have already noticed they have not been asked to sign for a purchase. Before long, signatures will be eliminated entirely, worldwide.