Showing ID when using your credit card

A debate is brewing in a MPSIMS thread about showing your id when you purchase something with a credit card.

So how do you feel about this? If you feel strongly, what are your reasons.

I absolutely cannot believe it wasn’t automatic, standard and mandatory the minute credit cards were invented. Period. Double period.

I sign the back of mine ‘Ask for ID’ and nobody ever does.

If it’s important to you, have your picture put on the card itself. Otherwise, sign your name to spot that says SIGNATURE and let’s all move on.

I wish they (retailers) asked regularly. I’ve had my card/money clip swiped a few times and it’s a huge pain in the ass to cancel the card, have the charges reversed and have a new card issued, and re-establish the new card number for all the auto-pay accounts I have set up on it. I have “ask for ID” on the back, and I’d say I’m asked maybe 2% of the time. Usually, it’s at a liquor store, and it happens so infrequently that I’m momentarily flattered someone could mistake this 45 year old face for possibly being underage, and then I remember.


I’m pretty sure my bank doesn’t provide that option.

My credit card HAS NO SPACE for a signature. Not required. But some merchants (USPS for example) refuse to take it… :frowning:

Merchants ask for ID in order to suppress credit card usage. Asking for ID deters the people who either happened to have forgotten their ID at the point of sale or for some reason object to the inquiry. Asking for ID typically violates the agreement between the merchant and the credit card processor.

In theory it sounds like a useful anti-fraud check, but in practice sometimes I lend my card to my wife and vice versa.

At any rate, it’s mostly moot now since many (most?) credit card readers in Canada are the chip & pin type.

Sounds like you picked a poor bank then.

I’m a retailer. If a card is signed “see ID” I make sure and tell the customer that I saw it, and that I will happily look at their ID if they would like, but I don’t need to see it.

It’s not a useful anti-fraud check because cashiers are not graphologists. It is not their job to assess whether an ID or a signature is forged, nor are they particularly good at it.

Meh, I couldn’t care less.

I refuse to select “I could care less,” because I couldn’t.

I’ve never had a physical credit card fall into the wrong hands, but if I did, I’d be at least as worried about someone using it somewhere that showing ID was irrelevant, like online, or pay-at-the-pump.

My reasons for applauding the merchants who do this:

  1. The merchants usually swallow the cost of the thefts, which they will then pass on to me in the form of higher prices.
  2. If my card is stolen, there will be a period of time between when it is stolen, and when I find out. I may be responsible for anything out there.
    I keep my id in my cc case in a way that it can be shown without removing it from its pocket. So for me, it’s no more effort to show my ID, than not.
  1. No they don’t. As long as merchants follow the basic procedure, the cost is shared by the credit card issuer and the acquirer.

  2. You won’t be.

A fact that escapes most people is that if someone steals your credit card and tries to use it, the cardholder’s liability is very limited by law. If your card number is used fraudulently and the card itself was not lost or stolen, you have no liability at all. Once you report a card as lost or stolen, you have no liability at all. Even if you fail to report a lost or stolen card you are still only liable for a maximum of $50.

The merchant will not be liable if the card is signed on the back and the merchant compares the signature on the slip to the signature on the card. You don’t have to be an expert–the merchant won’t be held liable for a credible forgery. However, most merchants are really sloppy about this and don’t compare at all. Witness the credit card signature prank. (For card-not-present transactions the rules are a little different but that’s not a topic for this thread.)

So why do people not want to sign their card, and write “Ask for ID” on the back? They are providing no additional protection for themselves.

I don’t like it when merchants ask for ID because I know that the merchant agreements generally prohibit them from doing so and the whole reason I use credit cards is for the convenience. If I have to start showing ID for every credit card transaction I might as well be writing checks.

Seems to me that the very small bit of protection that showing ID might bring is completely balanced out by the risk that I’m not only giving my credit card number, but also my address and driver’s license number to a potentially unscrupulous employee who’s looking for a good victim for identity theft. So I voted that I hate when I’m asked for ID.

Plus, most of the time I’m asked for ID, it’s by one particular employee, not store policy. Mr. Paladin Do-Gooder employee striking out on his own to protect my credit card is always annoying.

Don’t you have to do most of that even if it’s not used?

Not only that, if you want to get technical, the panel on the back of the card says “Not Valid Unless Signed”. Unless your signature is “CID” or “See ID” or “Ask For ID” your card isn’t actually valid.

Having said that, as a merchant, I (and all my employees) do check ID’s of anyone who writes that on their card.

I think it’s funny when someone gets mad at me when I won’t accept their card because they don’t have their ID on them. I had that happen to me a few weeks ago. She left her ID in her car and didn’t want to run back out for it. All I could say is “Ma’am, you’re the one who wrote this on there, if someone stole this card and used it here, you’d be pretty mad if I didn’t check it” she asked for the ‘normal girl’ and I told her she was off today and she huffed and puffed and went out to her car and got her ID.

I selected I could care less, because I have at least a modicum of caring.