Regarding the Aug. 18 story, "Credit Card Sales: Fewer Charges Now Require a Signature":
It seems fairly obvious to me that if the trend of signatures becoming obsolete in credit card transactions spreads, it will be the death of the credit card as such. As mentioned, those that issue the cards will face the prospect of more fraudulent transactions. A card holder simply will have to sign an affidavit stating that he was not responsible for the charge.
But who do you suppose is going to end up paying for the losses? Not the banks and others that issue the cards. They will simply increase their yearly dues to cover their losses. So it will go up, up, up until people can no longer afford to use their cards. In the long run maybe this is good. The public will have to face up at last to the painful reality of living within its means by using cash.
However, this seems too much to hope for and it might be too much of a jolt for an economy that exists on credit. A better system will have to be devised. Or we will have to go back to the old signature system and to hell with the few extra seconds it takes.
In the meantime, you may be sure that the many agile criminal minds out there are dreaming up schemes to strike it rich.
WILLIAM A. CLENCH