Anyone else having a hard time signing card?

(Stephen Robinson) #11

Well this is new to me. No wonder I always have trouble signing my cards. :cry:

(Kevyn) #12

I sign my cards with ultra fine sharpies but, unfortunately, I do not use a wallet. That means the card is loose in my pocket and over time (this is since 1st August) the sharpie smudges and fades. Still looking for that perfect pen… I hate biros!

File 26-11-2017, 17 28 13

(Andy Little) #13

Do you need to sign cards? I haven’t bothered for years, since I don’t sign for transactions I really don’t see the point.

(Allie) #14

Yes, because:

  1. Most cards technically aren’t valid unless signed.
  2. If you don’t, a thief can.
  3. You say ‘I don’t sign for transactions’ - but is that really the case? What do you do if you need to - ask them to void the purchase and refuse?

(Andy Little) #15

I suppose it might make the card technically invalid as far as the rules go, but I find they work fine anyway. If my card were ever stolen I’d cancel it, though I suppose if the thief signed it and got away with a transaction the bank might use it as an excuse not to refund it. That might be reason enough I guess.

As for signing for things, I don’t. Haven’t been asked to sign for a transaction for years now. Are there places that still do that in the UK? My experience in the UK, Germany and Japan is that it’s chip and pin, contactless or no cards at all. Maybe if I traveled in the USA a lot, I think they still sign for transactions a lot.

(Jake MacGregor) #16

I had no problem signing my card… maybe it’s because I’ve got a white core card, perhaps the hot coral core cards have a different line for signing? I believe they come from different suppliers (The Coral Core!)

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #17

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I have a favourite pen. I’ve found it worked perfectly on my hot coral core card.

And my favourite pen is a Pilot V Ball 0.5.


I don’t sign any of my cards, first off I prefer the pristine look of a brand new, untouched card, and second I don’t do insecure magstripe transactions anyway, always chip & PIN or contactless. Never had any merchant question it either.


I sign them but I don’t remove the sticker on the front.


I dislike the idea of someone getting my signature if they steal my card! But after a while I reluctantly sign it because I should, guess I left it too long :frowning:

(Allie) #21

US, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, quite a few places it can happen.

There are several ways it can happen, tho the second is only common in the US:

  1. The terminal can not support or is not enabled for EMV, in which case magnetic stripe uses signature in most countries (online PIN in some).
  2. The terminal can support EMV, but not offline PIN (only really common in the US market).
  3. Offline PIN can be locked out (PIN try counter tripped) from three wrong PIN attempts. Signature is above online PIN on the CVM list for the Monzo card, so the card will revert to signature (which Monzo may decline, haven’t tried it).
  4. Contactless can be used for more than the local No CVM limit (e.g. £30 in the UK) and online PIN not be supported by the merchant. Monzo is likely to decline, but the transaction could be approved conditional on a signature, as in 3. (and yes, there are banks that will approve at least low-value transactions in 3).
  5. PIN could be bypassed by pressing ‘enter’ without entering a PIN or similar, depending on the terminal. This will then revert to signature, again. It may or may not be declined.

(Jake MacGregor) #22

Looking at that picture has taken me on an emotional rollercoaster, I don’t know how to feel about it.

(Mark Edmonds) #23

Can’t remember the last time I signed my cards… even when in the states they never checked if the signature.

(Allie) #24

Small businesses will. It won’t matter for MasterCard soon enough. Signature will no longer be valid as CVM in the US for any fraud liability purposes (that is, shops will be allowed to treat signature CVM as No CVM for MasterCard in the US without any fraud liability fears).

(Mark Edmonds) #25

Not a single one did when I was in Portland and surrounding areas. Mostly independent breweries too, so they could be classed as small businesses. Even the smaller retailers I went to didn’t check. All big firms had contactless or pin so was irreverent.

(Allie) #26

Probably depends a lot on region. Missoula, MT (where I went to uni), they will check.

(Nick Perry) #27


I literally just stopped in my tracks. That might be the most interesting bit of nearly needless trivia I have heard in a while! Is there any documentation on this?

I want to amaze friends with it at parties!

Just as soon as I get some friends.

(Allie) #28

I’m a bit sceptical myself. I don’t think it has anything to do with ATMs or anything… just the natural sealing of it with oils from handling it, whether in an ATM, a wallet, hands, etc.


ATMs often have quite a bit of heat inside them from the monitor (some still have CRTs) and computer, so it could be that simply putting the card in a relatively hot environment “seals” the signature strip.

(Rika Raybould) #30

Missed the replies to this thread somehow. :see_no_evil:

I do believe it’s heat/friction that causes the strip to seal, not oils. It’s not specific to ATMs but ATM usage (if not cash withdrawal then changing PINs, etc) is the most common process for a new card that would evenly apply heat to that area.