In our first online poll, we asked how you handled the signature panel on the back of your credit cards and the results are in:
- SIGN YOUR CARD (they said to sign it) 30%?
- WRITE CID (I'm not giving the crooks my signature!) 40%
- SIGN & WRITE CID (It was a tight fit- but I made it) 17%
- LEAVE IT BLANK (Nobody checks it anyway) 13%
So what is the 'RIGHT' answer? Technically speaking, Option #1 is the correct answer- let's look at all 4 options:
#1- Sign Your Card- The signature panel on the back of your credit card should be signed. The main reason? If your card is not signed- it is not valid. Each credit card has that statement printed on the back of the credit card. In addition, your credit card company identifies your signed credit card as an additional acceptance of their terms and conditions.
#2- Write CID (See ID)- Since CID is not your signature, it is not a valid use of the signature panel. It also makes it easier, should you lose your card, for thieves to make unauthorized purchases.
#3- Sign & Write CID- This is a nice combo move however the addition of the phrase (CID) rarely has any effect (when is the last time someone actually checked your ID?). Many times it amounts to a waste of time. Nice job signing the card however.
#4- Leave it Blank- Leaving the back of your card unsigned not only makes the card invalid, it also makes it super easy for someone to find the card, turn the card over, add their version of your signature- and move straight to a shopping spree.
The card companies are sending mixed messages when it comes to card security (remember this fun commercial from 2007- using a credit card fraudulently is so easy- even an elephant can do it? We LOVED the thoughtfullness of the pachyderm but found the message to be a bit concerning!). So it really is up to you as a consumer and as a business owner- to protect yourself!
- Sign your cards (with a Sharpie) and then go one extra step- require the company that is accepting it to acknowledge that you are the cardholder- if we train the businesses on how we want our card information protected, they WILL listen!
- Do not accept unsigned cards! Feel free to call our office for FREE signage that you can display, sharing the dangers of accepting unsigned cards.
- Know your card issuers policy on unsigned cards- MOST card issuers do not extend lost card privileges to cardholders who did not sign their card- that's right! If you do not sign your card and it is recovered without your signature- you could be the one left holding the bag on any unauthorized purchases!
We can reduce credit card fraud by making sure our cards are accepted properly and by making sure that our businesses and our staff members are properly trained as well. So grab a sharpie, sign your card and protect yourself!
Thank you for participating in our POLL- more fun and thought provoking questions are on the horizon. Cheri & your TMC Team!