More than 2.5 million brick-and-mortar stores that have chip-reading terminals will no longer have to get customer signatures, starting in April.

“Making the signature requirement optional for EMV chip-enabled merchants is the responsible next step to enhance security and convenience at the point of sale,” Dan Sanford, vice president of consumer products at Visa, said in a statement.

Signatures are an added level of security for customers, but Visa said there’s been added protection from the introduction of chip-enabled cards, called EMV.

Jan. 12 (UPI) — Visa Inc. announced Friday it would no longer require businesses to get customers’ signatures on purchases made with chip-card security.

Retailers, in particular Walmart, have sought to end the requirement for customer signatures because those sales must be processed in a way that costs more than double the sales that require a PIN.

“Less than two years since EMV chip launched in the U.S., fraud declined 66 percent at EMV chip-enabled merchants,” Visa said.

The other major credit card companies — Mastercard Inc., American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services — have said they plan to make the same move.

The information from EMV transactions is not as useful to hackers because each EMV transaction generates a unique code, unlike transactions using the traditional magnetic strips.

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