Wouldn't it be great if the coffee line moved more quickly every morning? Or the ticket line at your favorite movie theatre? A new trend is speeding things up at places nationwide, as consumers simply 'Swipe & Go.' But, the convenience could cost you.
Morning coffee is a must for Dana Conneally, but recently when he handed over his credit card to pay, "I just waited for, ya know, for the receipt to come out and to sign and they never asked me for it and I was thrown off a little bit." No signature. No pin needed, either. You just swipe & go, the latest way to pay by plastic. It's for smaller transactions, usually $25 or less:
Dana Conneally: "It makes the line move faster. I think it's easier for me to just give them my card and take it right back and not have to wait for the signature."
And that's the idea, behind no-sign transactions, says Visa's Rosetta Jones. "This is really to add a convenience to the merchant and to the consumers." Not to mention, the potential added revenue for the credit card companies!
Where can you swipe & go? All kinds of fast food restaurants... coffee shops...movie theatres...even parking lots.
Rosetta Jones, Visa: "Anywhere where there's a need to get in, and get out, and get on with your life."
Julian Gomez, Burger King: "The total transaction takes about 10 seconds, which is actually faster than a cash transaction. Customers really love it."
But not everyone is sold. The Consumer Federation of America warns, now if someone steals your card, they won't have to sign or come up with a pin. That makes it easier to rip you off, even if it's just $25 at a time!
Javier Perez, Consumer: "The one thing that he didn't do was, he didn't I-D me. So how did he know I was using my credit card?" The Consumer Federation says consumers should be able to choose whether they want this type of service or not. Travis Plunkett, Consumer Federation of America: "We don't think they should be doing this unless they ask your permission, unless they get it in writing, and unless they allow you to set the cap."
There are safeguards. Most credit card companies offer zero liability protection for any fraudulent transaction. And Visa's Rosetta Jones doubts that crooks will run around town, charging $25 or less. "If a criminal steals your card number, they're not going to get a latte or hamburger."
The Consumer Federation has another concern - 'swipe & go' will make it too easy for consumers to whip out their credit cards, without remembering they're paying often-high interest, on those lattes and sandwiches.