My experience is, now that signature transactions are so rare, they actually do check them more carefully than they used to.
I’ve had my Monzo card ‘flag up’ at a Well Pharmacy twice now for me to sign for the transaction. Never anywhere else and never with another card (the last time I had to sign for a card transaction was for an ‘offline stall’ at a convention center several several years ago).
I got the impression this was a ‘merchant flagged request’ (rather than Monzo) and IIRC, they didn’t even bother checking the signature (probably because they knew who I was) - perhaps the ‘lowish usage’ of Monzo triggered a ‘fraud sensitivity’ flag.
Just wondering why would you fall back to signature when the card supports PIN, especially if you’re suspicious about fraud.
It’s definitely not a fraud check and instead a malfunction or misconfiguration of the terminal. For some reason it decided it was unable to proceed with PIN and fell back to signature.
Especially since both transactions were PIN authenticated… Twas most odd.
I’d imagine the more often you get cards that require a signature the less likely/less thoroughly you check them. We get a lot of American customers so it’s a fairly common thing. If it’s something that rarely happens the till prompt is enough to make you really check - most likely because it’s less routine. I’d imagine if it’s the first few times you’d actually be pretty critical of the squiggle they do.
I mean I obviously check it but I’m not gonna refuse it just because the flick on the t was a bit different. At the end of the day it’s not difficult to forge a passable signature.
And frankly, it doesn’t really matter, banks aren’t going to do a chargeback because the signature didn’t match (after all, it could have been a cloned card, with a different signature strip). Even more annoying that merchant acquirers haven’t updated terminals to suppress the signature prompt on Amex cards (although I know some places in London have at least updated their staff, so they just ignore the prompt on Amex cards). Signatures aren’t required for low value MasterCard payments either.
I’ve had chips in cards fail, or the chip reader fail, and had to revert back to signature. It still needs to be there as a fallback (or can swipe and pin be a thing?). Plus, other countries exist with other frames of mind, regardless as to what Mastercard make optional.
On a related note, my old letting agent insisted on sending a standing order form my post to my old bank (NatWest) and they rejected it because the signature didn’t match what they had on file. They took great offense when I said I don’t have a consistent signature.
When I was living abroad, I tried to change the address/details on one of my accounts, the bank refused, saying the signature didn’t match. When I kindly informed the bank manager that the credit card wouldn’t be getting paid, they swiftly changed their mind. Although the guy did make me laugh as he almost seemed surprised that I was still paying the card even though I lived abroad (apparently most people move abroad and don’t even pay anything back).
Usually it’s been the opposite for me: stores making me sign it in front of them… as if that was secure. They could never see the issue with it.
Just company policy for some I think.
I’ve had to sign at Sainsbury’s a few years ago - this was on a Barclays Visa debit card.
They didn’t check the signature against my card, just put the signature slip straight in the till drawer
Working for Tesco we’ve been told that if the card reverts to signature to check the back of the card compared to the signature signed on the sales voucher that prints off. If the card isn’t signed we ask for photo ID.
@SamEdwards Indeed, although some cashiers seem to take this too seriously. I was using a foreign card at a Tesco’s in Norwich and the contactless failed so I had to insert my chip and signature card. The purchase was for £3.50 and the cashier made me resign as the signature didn’t match, despite said card also having my picture on the back next to the signature stripe…