All Major Card Brands to Drop Signature Requirements in April


All of the major credit cards have announced they will no longer require consumers to sign for purchases at merchant locations, a change that will take effect in April. Merchants still have the option to ask for signatures, but the cards will not require signatures as part of their merchant services.

MasterCard was the first to make the announcement back in October 2017. They cited that more than 80 percent of store transactions in North America already do not require signatures, and the change will help make shopping experiences faster and more convenient.

Discover Card followed next with their announcement in December 2017. According to a press release, the change is part of Discover’s efforts to continually improve the payment experience by speeding up the time spent at checkout all while maintaining a high level of security for both customers and merchants. Discover has already implemented a number of digital authentication technologies such as tokenization, multi-factor authentication, and biometrics that are more secure than requiring a signature and provide a more seamless payment transaction.

American Express also issued their press release in December 2017. AmEx will be eliminating the requirement for merchants to collect cardholder signatures for all purchase transactions at the point of sale beginning in April, and the change applies globally to all America Express accepting merchants.

Finally, VISA issued its blog post announcement in January. VISA will make the signature requirement optional for all EMV contact and contactless chip-enabled merchants in North America beginning in April 2018.

Question of the Week

Can someone with power of attorney and a death certificate access the account of a deceased member?

No. The power granted in a power of attorney document is terminated when the person granting the power (principal) passes away. Once the principal is deceased, the power of attorney document no longer grants any permissions to the attorney-in-fact.

In most cases, upon the death of the member, the account would be accessible by a surviving joint owner or the administrator of the estate.


Legal Briefs

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

The NCUA announced that its January 2018 Board Meeting Video is now available.

The NCUA released its February Board Action Bulletin. The Board voted to approve a share insurance distribution of $736 million to eligible, federally insured credit unions in the third quarter of 2018. Additionally, the board approved a final rule that amends the NCUA’s share insurance requirements rule to provide greater fairness, predictability, and transparency.

The NCUA announced that its four permanent funds have earned clean audit opinions for 2017.

NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger delivered a prepared statement regarding the Share Insurance Fund distribution announced at the February board meeting.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The CFPB released its 5 year strategic plan.

The CFPB announced that is has issued a Request for Information regarding its supervision process. The Bureau is seeking information and comments related to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its supervision program and whether any changes to the program would be appropriate.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC announced its revised regulatory review schedule for 2018, which includes a review of the Identity Theft Red Flag Rules.

U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury)

The Financial Stability Oversight Council issued its annual report to Congress. The report states that the financial market conditions have been generally stable since the last annual report, assets increased, and commercial real estate valuations remained high.

The Treasury announced a proposed repeal of 298 tax regulations that have been deemed unnecessary, duplicative or obsolete.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

OFAC has updated the SDN list as of February 14, 2018. The last update prior to this was February 9, 2018.

Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465;

Posted in Compliance News.