MacInTouch Amazon link...
Channels
Apple, Security, Products
Except, signatures are no longer required by the credit card companies in the U.S.
Merchants can still require them, but I suspect a lot of that is habit.
For the last four years, I "sign" with an X. No one ever questions it, although occasionally merchants look at it and laugh. On the other hand, almost every in-person physical card transaction I do requests a signature, on paper or on the card machine. I suspect many would object if I refused to place my X.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A new kind of problem:
BuzzFeed said:
If You Lose Your iPhone, You Can’t Pay Your Apple Card Bill On The Web
There are no paper statements with the digital-first Apple Card. Unlike a traditional credit card, everything is accessed through the Wallet app on the iPhone, including transaction histories, total balances, previous statements, and payments. There’s no website to view the latest transactions made on the card or make a payment if you lose access to that Wallet app.

So, how do you pay your Apple Card bill if your iPhone is misplaced or stolen? You could always wait until you buy a new phone, or recover your old one, but a late payment would result in interest charges which, obviously, would not be ideal. Because Apple’s support website doesn’t say, BuzzFeed News posed the question to a customer service representative through Apple’s phone and text message support system (Apple Card is currently available to a limited number of people and members of the press).
 


For the last four years, I "sign" with an X. No one ever questions it, although occasionally merchants look at it and laugh. On the other hand, almost every in-person physical card transaction I do requests a signature, on paper or on the card machine. I suspect many would object if I refused to place my X.
I usually draw either a smiley face or a dog. Security theater?
 



My physical card arrived via FedEx overnite from EWA in Compton, CA. It was in a white card-stock holder with just an embossed Apple logo on the outside and was inserted in a plain cardboard sleeve.

When the inner sleeve is opened, the card is in a slot against a multi-colored background. Below the card is the text, "Activate your card. Wake iPhone and hold here." When you follow the instructions (don't hold your iPhone over the card but over the bottom of the sleeve), your card is activated without any actions on your part.

One note: Goldman Sachs told me that the card rules state that only your legal first and last name can be on it. You can contact Goldman Sachs via the "contact us" tab by tapping the Apple Card in your Wallet app.
 



... Security theater?
Always has been. No bank or credit card company has ever compared your signature against anything on file. I've heard of banks refusing to process checks for signature mismatches but never for a credit card.

The only protection a signature gets you is so you can look at, and verify, it in the event of a dispute. For example, you don't recognize a charge on your statement, so you call the merchant, the merchant locates the receipt and shows it to you, at which point you either recognize the signature as your own or you don't.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Got an Apple Card invitation today after entering my Apple ID email address on an Apple form a number of days ago to get more details.
Apple Card <applecard@insideapple.apple.com> said:
Here’s your chance to get early access to Apple Card.

You wanted to be one of the first to get Apple Card — a new kind of credit card created by Apple, not a bank. Good news: Here’s your chance to experience Apple Card before everybody else, so you can help us get ready for the public launch. Your early access invitation is waiting, but we need your Apple ID to send it. The email address you provided does not match an Apple ID signed in to iCloud. Just complete a few simple steps so we can send your invitation.

How to get your invitation:
  • Make sure your iPhone is running iOS 12.4. To update, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Take note of the Apple ID used to sign in to iCloud on your iPhone. To see your Apple ID, go to Settings, then tap your name.
  • Set a passcode for your iPhone, if you don’t have one already. To set a passcode, go to Settings, tap Face ID & Passcode or Touch ID & Passcode, then tap Turn Passcode On.
  • Go to apple.com/apple-card [clickable complex URL link apparently containing a code] and tap Notify Me to enter your Apple ID.
Invitations may take up to 48 hours to arrive.
I didn't know that signing into iCloud was a pre-requisite (in addition to being signed into Find My iPhone, iMessage, FaceTime, etc.?). Apple requires two-factor authentication (2FA) for the Apple ID account used for your Apple Card.
 


Another way signatures are used is when charges are disputed through a card issuer. When a dispute is initiated by a card holder, the issuer contacts the merchant to request documentation of the transaction. If a merchant cannot provide sufficient evidence that the charge was legitimate (back in paper-based days, this could involve quite a bit of work going through archived charge slips!), the card holder usually will not have to pay.
 


The EU (European Union) is bringing in new laws/regulations on 14th September 2019 regarding security of contactless payments, and, also, online payments will mostly require a verification code to be sent to your mobile phone (i.e. Strong Customer Authentication - SCA), but they are allowing for systems whereby card owners will be able to whitelist certain sites.
One day after posting, and the new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules are now being delayed by 18 months:
 


Always has been. No bank or credit card company has ever compared your signature against anything on file. I've heard of banks refusing to process checks for signature mismatches but never for a credit card.
On a barely related note...

For some time I have been writing "see photo ID" in my credit card signature field. Never saw the point in showing a valid signature to anyone who might steal my card.

A few years back I went to purchase an Amtrack ticket at the BWI station. Handed them my credit card and was told they would not accept it. They would accept a card with a signature on the back.

I was stuck, as I really needed to get on the next train. That's where is gets odd. I borrowed a pencil from the clerk. In front of them, I used the eraser to remove "see Photo ID" and signed my name in the space. They then accepted the card for payment. As they were printing my ticket, I used the eraser to take off my signature and again wrote "see Photo ID."

Bureaucracy at its finest, helping to show how pointless the signature is.
 



... My wife has an Amazon credit card that is metal. I've always been told that when a card expires, you should cut it up. Destroying my wife's old Amazon card was a giant pain. Am I just old fashioned, and is tossing the old card into the recycle bin good enough?
 


The EU (European Union) is bringing in new laws/regulations on 14th September 2019 regarding security of contactless payments, and, also, online payments will mostly require a verification code to be sent to your mobile phone (i.e. Strong Customer Authentication - SCA), but they are allowing for systems whereby card owners will be able to whitelist certain sites.
I hope they will take into account a major issue with visitors. I leave my iPhone in airplane mode when I travel outside the USA, and I use Wi-Fi. I can send and receive iMessages but not SMS. With this law, I could not receive the verification code to make an online purchase.

There is a similar "Catch 22" at the Singapore airport. They offer free Wi-Fi, but you have to enter an SMS sent to your phone, which, of course, will not be received if it is in airplane mode.
 


I hope they will take into account a major issue with visitors. I leave my iPhone in airplane mode when I travel outside the USA, and I use Wi-Fi. I can send and receive iMessages but not SMS. With this law, I could not receive the verification code to make an online purchase.
There is a similar "Catch 22" at the Singapore airport. They offer free Wi-Fi, but you have to enter an SMS sent to your phone, which, of course, will not be received if it is in airplane mode.
One option: sign up for a Google Voice account. You will get a phone number that accepts SMS messages that can be relayed to the Google Voice app, not to the mobile phone number associated with your carrier. Further, you can minimize privacy and data harvesting concerns by opening a Gmail account that you use only for Google Voice.

Another benefit is that using Google Voice for forced-SMS situations, such as on websites that do not support authenticator apps or physical tokens for 2-factor authentication, reduces the risk of somebody gaining control of your online accounts through SIM-swapping scams.

The reader comments to this article can help you decide if this is a good solution for you:
 


(Apple said:) Your early access invitation is waiting, but we need your Apple ID to send it. The email address you provided does not match an Apple ID signed in to iCloud. Just complete a few simple steps
Apparently these confirmation requests go to people requesting cards using email addresses other than their Apple ID, but some also go out even when addresses match. This is a glitch at Apple (and not a phishing scam) according to coverage at Reddit and 9to5mac, which say Apple’s advice is to revisit the Apple Card site and again request it to ‘Notify Me’ using a (the same?) Apple ID email address.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a tip about a different issue:
Ars Techica said:
Apple’s new credit card comes with forced arbitration—here’s how to opt out
... The card's primary draw isn't in its benefits, which are perfectly fine but not outstanding by any metric. Instead, the card's strength is in its tight vertical integration with the Apple technology ecosystem and the (hopefully) increased security one gains by moving to using tokenized payments for (most of) your point-of-sale transactions. The card otherwise has a lot in common with other traditional credit cards—and, unfortunately, one of those things is the Apple Card's forced arbitration provision.

Briefly, this means that there is language in the Apple Card/Goldman Sachs' customer agreement that requires customers to give up their right to file lawsuits against Goldman or Apple, either individually or as members of a class, and instead forces customers into accepting binding arbitration to resolve disputes. Although binding arbitration is frequently defended by proponents as being faster and less expensive than lawsuits, arbitration heavily favors companies over consumers in disputes. The arbitrator or arbitrators are typically chosen by the company engaging in arbitration and tend to favor the company's interests; studies show that in the vast majority of cases, the odds of winning are heavily on the company's side. The bias in arbitration outcomes has been taken advantage of by numerous companies—including companies we regularly cover—to engage in some truly shady dealings.
 


... My wife has an Amazon credit card that is metal. I've always been told that when a card expires, you should cut it up. Destroying my wife's old Amazon card was a giant pain. Am I just old fashioned, and is tossing the old card into the recycle bin good enough?
After I spent some time figuring out how to cut up an expired metal Amex card, I discovered that these new metal cards are generally accepted by the issuer for recycling. The issuer should send you an envelope for the purpose upon request. I don't know about Apple, however...
 


After a few days with an Apple Card, we decided that a showstopper for our family was not being able to download transactions into Quicken. Cancelling the account was quick and easy using text chat from my iPhone. But destroying a card made of titanium...
That’s an issue for me also and would limit my use if not added.
 


After a few days with an Apple Card, we decided that a showstopper for our family was not being able to download transactions into Quicken. Cancelling the account was quick and easy using text chat from my iPhone. But destroying a card made of titanium...
Hammer, nail, and punch a hole through the chip? No real reason the titanium card itself needs to be destroyed. Is there even a mag stripe on the back? If so, scramble it with a magnet.
 



I think destroying unwanted or expired credit cards is always a good idea. But with the current trend for cards that are not easily cut up or damaged, I would first lock one of these cards (most issuers let you do this easily on their website or in their app, while it looks like Apple Card puts the function in Wallet) then simply toss the card in a junk drawer. Since my junk drawers only get cleaned out every couple of years, by the time I see the card again, it will be completely useless... especially if the account has been closed.
 


Hmmm, now I'm thinking of some things Apple should have done with Apple Card. Just think, if Apple had put cardOS on every chip, anybody who wanted to cripple their card would only have to wait for a Security Update to brick it.

And it's too bad Sir Jony didn't design the physical card. Then it would be thinner-thinner-thinner glass, and simply shattering or snapping an unwanted card would be easy.
 


For some time I have been writing "see photo ID" in my credit card signature field. Never saw the point in showing a valid signature to anyone who might steal my card.
I agree, and did the same for a while, but it was pointed out by a store manager that the card usually says something like "Not Valid Unless Signed", at which point, we went round and round over how many times a clerk actually checks it against a signed receipt. Luckily, my drivers license has my signature on it, and she relented.
 


Well, here is a new one on me: went to my Wallet on my iPhone X to see about applying for the new card, and after I hit "Add" and then Continue, I was hit with a screen asking for the security code for a credit card that has been cancelled for a few months. Seemed odd but more frustrating, since there were no other options to skip this screen. The card was no longer in my wallet on my iPhone, so off I went to call Apple.

After 30 minutes of hold, a very nice lady walked me through a few screens, and we found that the card was still in the wallet on my iPad. OK, so I deleted it. She then said it could take days for it to disappear on my iPhone and that, until then, there's nothing I could do.

Huh? Days? Tried reseting my iPhone. No change. Tried logging out of iCloud on my iPad and logging back in. No change. Am somewhat loathe to log out of iCloud on my iPhone for fear of lost/unmerged data, but I guess that is my next thing to try (other than waiting "days" for the system to catch up to the deleted credit card).

Other ideas, folks?
 


For some time I have been writing "see photo ID" in my credit card signature field. Never saw the point in showing a valid signature to anyone who might steal my card.
FYI:
creditcards.com said:
Sign your credit card, don’t write ‘See ID’ Anti-fraud strategy is outdated, ineffective

“If you don’t sign your card and it gets stolen or lost, it just makes it easier for the thief to sign it,” says Steven Weisman, author of “Identity Theft Alert: 10 Rules You Must Follow to Protect Yourself from America’s No. 1 Crime.”

... According to Visa’s 2014 Card Acceptance Guidelines for Visa merchants, an unsigned credit card is not considered valid and merchants are instructed not to take it. MasterCard has similar rules.
 


After a few days with an Apple Card, we decided that a showstopper for our family was not being able to download transactions into Quicken. Cancelling the account was quick and easy using text chat from my iPhone. But destroying a card made of titanium...
American Express, the granddaddy of metal cards, sends out a postage-paid envelope with new cards so that the old card can be destroyed/recycled. Apple should be doing the same. If not, perhaps you can return it to an Apple Store. Or frame it as a collector's item.
 



Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts