Visa USA nixes signatures on low value purchases

Previously, the card issuing organisation only allowed transactions under $15 to go without a signature and, even then, under a limited set of circumstances.

The no-sig program is being rolled out across restaurant, petrol stations and other selected "cash heavy" locations across the US. The idea is to make punters use their Visa card in preference to cash.

If all goes well, Visa USA says that around 27 per cent of card transactions made under $25 will be no-sig/no-PIN by the end of next year.

Visa claims that the 17 merchant categories eligible for the no-sig program are in those sectors where fraud has been historically low, such as drugstores, parking lots and movie theatres.

So there, don''t you feel safe about using your credit/debit card somewhere that doesn't need a signature or a PIN? Talk about wide open to fraud at several levels...