Whether you are a new or existing credit card user, you might have noticed a signature box on your card’s back. You can find this signature box on some of the best credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express. However, are you aware of the purpose of this signature box? Read on to find out what its purpose is and whether it is necessary to sign it or not.
What are the Things on the Back of Your Credit Card?
You will notice three crucial things if you flip over your credit card. These are-
- CVV Number: The CVV number is the three-digit number on the back of your credit card. This number is used to verify that you have the physical card in your possession. For example, when making an online purchase, you must provide this number to verify that you are the card owner.
- Magnetic Swipe Strip: The magnetic stripe is encoded with three information tracks. The first track encodes your account number. The second encodes the card expiration date, and the third is used for encoding your name. When you swipe the card through a card reader, the machine automatically decodes the information to process the payment.
- Signature Box: The “signature box” is the small rectangular space on the back of your credit card where you are supposed to sign your name. This is one of the main ways businesses verify that you are the card’s rightful owner. Therefore, the transaction may be denied if your signature does not match the one on file.
Do Debit Cards Look the Same as Credit Cards?
If you compare the two, you will not find any major difference between credit cards and debit cards in appearance. However, you may find one difference between the two if one of them has been issued recently. Recently issued credit and debit cards may or may not have a signature box. Other than that, credit and debits look just the same.
Do I Need to Sign in the Signature Box of My Credit Card?
Most credit card issuers require you to sign the back of your credit card for security purposes. However, if your credit card does not have a signature box, you may not be required to sign it.
The signature on your credit card is used to verify that you are the authorised user of the card. When you use your credit card, the merchant will compare your signature on the receipt to the signature on the back of your credit card. If they match, then the transaction is considered valid.
If you don’t sign your credit card, anyone who has possession of your credit card can use it without your authorisation. This could lead to fraud or theft, damaging your credit score and financial history.
Read, Also: How To Get A Credit Card With No Credit History
For these reasons, it’s important to sign the back of your credit card as soon as you receive it. If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not you should sign a credit card, always stay on the side of caution and go ahead and sign it.
When is it Okay Not to Sign the Back of My Card?
Here are a few instances where you may not need to sign the back of your credit card.
- If you have an EMV chip credit card: Most cards issued in the past few years have an EMV chip. It is a small computer chip that stores information about your account and helps protect against fraud. When using these cards, you’ll need to insert the card into a reader and enter your PIN rather than signing a receipt. So, there’s no need to sign the back of these cards.
- If you’re using your credit card online: When shopping or paying bills online, you’ll typically only need to enter your credit card number and expiration date. So, there’s no need to sign the back of your card when shopping online.
- If you’re using your credit card at an ATM: When withdrawing cash from an ATM, you may be asked to enter your PIN, but you won’t be asked for a signature. So, there’s no need to sign the back of your credit card.
In general, signing on the back of your credit card is a good idea for one main reason. Firstly, it helps prevent fraud. Anyone who tries to use your credit card without your permission will likely be unsuccessful. However, most of the current best credit cards do not have a signature box as they are protected with EMV chips and RFID technology.
In conclusion, there’s no harm in signing the back of your credit card – and doing so may even help to protect you from fraud.