Is an ID required for Credit or Debit Card Purchases?

Paying with credit card

You may be surprised to find out that merchants are not always required to ask for your ID when you make a purchase with your credit card. While it’s perfectly okay for a merchant to ask for your ID, you can refuse to provide it and they have no right to refuse the use of your credit card for the purchase of your merchandise.

Here’s a list of credit cards that do and don’t require ID.

Credit Cards that Merchant Services are Allowed and Not Allowed to Ask for ID For

MasterCard Credit Card

If your Mastercard merchant bank credit card is signed, then the merchant is not allowed to ask you for ID. However, if you haven’t signed the back of your credit card, then the merchant has every right to ask for your ID and ask you to sign the credit card in their presence before you make your purchase.

Visa Credit Card

Like MasterCard, merchants are not allowed to require an ID check when using a Visa credit card. Also like MasterCard, if your credit card isn’t signed, the merchant has the right to ask for the ID and for you to sign the credit card for them before making a purchase.

American Express Credit Card

Merchants are encouraged to make sure that a customer owns the credit card but doesn’t directly mention ID. The company has no problem with merchants asking for ID though. However, AMEX does say it discourages this practice, so it leaves it up to the merchant whether they want to ask for ID.

Discover Credit Card

Discover credit card rules state that if a merchant has any reason to believe a Discover credit card isn’t valid, it is okay for them to ask for ID from you. If the credit card is unsigned, then the merchant has the ability to ask for two forms of ID, with a requirement that one is a government-issued photo identification card.

What Can You Do if a Merchant Won’t Accept Your Credit Card

Although the merchant credit card processing services have these policies in place, it doesn’t mean every cashier you encounter knows the rules. Even their managers are unaware since some retail training tells cashiers that they must see a valid ID when accepting a merchant bank credit card.

It’s common for managers to step in and back up their cashiers if they ask to see an ID and a person refuses to give one. This means that store owners have the right to refuse service to someone who doesn’t have any ID. If you’ve ever refused service because you won’t show your ID, you can report it to the credit card merchant services companies.

Why Do You Need to Show Your ID with Your Credit Card?

If you are asked to show your ID when making a purchase with your credit card, don’t feel offended. Cashiers and business owners are doing their jobs by making sure the cardholder is actually who they say they are, and they’re helping protect the business from stolen credit cards.

If you have any questions about merchant services or wish to set up merchant services for your business, Authorized Credit Card Systems can help — just contact us today.

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