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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Authorized Signature

Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, July 30, 2005
12:15 pm

Robin Wilton recently
expressed his disdain for the concept of an "authorized signature"
on the back of an airline frequent flyer program card. He observed that saying
"Authorised Signature" in that context carries about as much weight
as a label declaring "Authentic Peanut Butter."

I tried to pay for dinner with my credit card at a little restaurant in Panguitch,
Utah. My signature had rubbed off the back of the card. I offered my drivers
license as proof that I really am the correct Mark Dixon, but the nice lady
said she really didn’t want to accept a credit card without a signature. So
I asked to use her pen. I signed the card; she accepted it. What more could
I ask!

How’s that for an "authorized signature?"

P.S. The only thing I know about authentic peanut butter is that I really like it



3 Responses to “Authorized Signature”

    You may want to check : http://www.zug.com/pranks/credit/

    Many people suggest to put a “Please check ID” as a signature, but i’m not sure this would even have any result.

    Comment by Sebastien Tanguy on July 31, 2005 at 3:09 am

    After working 5 years in retail, i worked at walmart, as both a cachier and Customer Service Manger, you would be suprised at the number of people that ran out because the card was unsigned and they weren’t prepared to sign the card in your presence, of course a few hours later, we were notified the card was stollen. The previous comment is right, its best to write “check ID” in the signature field, most of the time it won’t matter, especially now a days with automated credit card acceptance at gas stations and grocery stores where the customer is asked to slide the card. But it still is the only way to get any added security in the process, good cashiers ask to see the card and check ID on large purchases, and if the cashier have any doubt that the transaction isn’t quite right.

    Comment by James Dickens on July 31, 2005 at 12:55 pm

    Those of you who claim that the signature is required on credit cards are simply ill-informed and this is NOT an “urban legend” in spite of what some people naively claim. I invite you to look at the website of virtually every credit card company. As an example, check out the Capital One website: http://www.capitalone.com/credit101/fraud/IDTheftPackageV012172004We.pdf?linkid=WWW_Z_Z_Z_FRD_R1_01_T_IDTFT . . .
    Look in the section “How Can I Prevent ID Theft?” Capital One bank’s Fraud Group clearly states “Sign your credit card or write that the merchant must ‘Check I.D.’ on the back of your card.”
    So, clearly, those of you who say that signature is required are just flat wrong, and that it is even documented by major credit card companies (Capital One isn’t the only one – check Chase, MBNA, and others as well) to put “Check ID” in order to avoid identity theft.
    Only the U.S. Postal Service and my State Liquor Store have refused to take my credit cards. As a result, I use my credit card online on the USPS website to purchase stamps (when obviously the card isn’t even available to them) and I write a fee-free credit card check in the liquor store. Every other merchant seems to be intelligent enough to grasp that it is a lot more difficult to generate a fake State Driver’s license than to sign a fake signature.

    Comment by Chris Knoll on October 22, 2005 at 1:14 pm

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