Visa (NYSE: V) today announced plans to offer its No Signature Required program to the majority of merchant categories in the United States beginning July 2010, making the switch to Visa digital currency even more convenient and compelling.
Under the new expanded program, for domestic transactions $25 and less, retailers can accept U.S.-issued Visa cards for purchases without requiring a cardholder signature; this program has the potential to increase speed at the point of sale and enhance customer satisfaction.
"Visa's No Signature Required program has been enormously popular with Visa cardholders and merchants in busy retail environments like quick service restaurants and coffee shops," said Bill Sheedy, president, the Americas, Visa Inc. "Innovation comes in many forms and enabling Visa cardholders to swipe their card and go at most U.S. retailers is a small, but significant advance in the ongoing migration to digital currency."
According to a Visa Inc. survey, 69 percent of participants surveyed cited either convenience or speed as the primary reason for using their credit or debit card. Visa consumer research also found that payment options influence a consumer's decision to visit a business and acceptance of payment cards has the potential to lead to stronger customer satisfaction and retention for retailers.
With the changes announced today, approximately 98 percent of all U.S. merchant category codes in the Visa system will be covered by the No Signature Required program.
Currently 26 merchant categories are eligible for No Signature Required in the U.S. They include: auto parking lots and garages; bakeries; book stores; bus lines; candy, nut and confectionary stores; car washes; dairy stores; drug stores and pharmacies; dry cleaners; fast food restaurants; laundries; local commuter transport; miscellaneous food stores; motion picture theaters; news dealers and newsstands; quick copy services; restaurants; service stations; taxicabs and limousines; tolls and bridges and video rental stores.
Offering the No Signature Required program will allow hundreds of thousands more U.S. retailers, including traditionally cash-heavy merchants such as discount storeores, to enjoy greater benefit from card acceptance on low dollar transactions. These benefits include the potential for faster payment, increased sales and operating efficiencies they don't get from cash and checks.