The US is rolling out chip-enabled credit cards nationwide, but the more fraud-resistant technology still relies on people using signatures. That’s a dumb security measure — heck, not really a security measure at all — that makes fraud easier, and Walmart wants to do something about it. Even though forcing PINs would make transactions far more secure, Visa is saying no.
The rest of the world uses Chip-and-PIN to verify card transactions in stores. It’s much the same as how chip transactions work in the US right now, only rather than drawing a meaningless scrawl on a receipt, customers enter a unique four-digit PIN to prove that they own the card.
Signatures are effectively meaningless — they’re only useful when you’re making a chargeback against fraud later, and provide no on-the-spot security. It’s one of the reasons the US accounts for 72 percent of credit card fraud worldwide.