First of all, let me give credit to all you who do recurring characters and multipanels. This took much longer to do than I anticipated.
Has anyone else had this conversation with a sales person? I know everytime I have asked the same question, this is the response I get. My signature has worn off my credit card due to overuse so I am asked for a photo ID frequently.
Their response to why they need it never made sense to me as the last panel illustrates. And guess what, they are wrong.
According to several sources (see Kiplingers, Consumerist), the reason they ask for a photo ID is because your credit card is not valid unless it is signed. So the merchant is supposed to compare the signature on your license with the signature on their copy of the receipt. HOWEVER, they never do that. They always compare the name (not the signature) on the credit card with the name on the Photo ID.
Personally I would be happy if all merchants required photo id and matched the credit card against the ID. However, funny enough Visa and Mastercard discourage merchants from doing so by saying a Photo ID is not a requirement for purchase as long as the card was signed.
Sadly, with online purchasing, self-service checkout and even digital signature pads (does anyone’s signature look remotely like their real one on those things), the chances for someone illegally using your credit card is rising. The good news is you are typically only on the hook for at most $50 assuming you report the fraudulent charges in a timely manner.