Editorial Cartoon: Credit Card ID

Editorial Cartoon: Credit Card Identification

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.


About Bearman Cartoons

Previous/Next Posts

94 Responses to “Editorial Cartoon: Credit Card ID”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. I asked everybody for ID with a credit card when I was a store clerk. It was company policy. What got me in trouble was writing down the addresses of the hotties and going to their houses after work.

  2. tmcelmurry says:

    Wow, I hope that’s not the only basis for checking a license to a credit card. If so, then just a signature…whether it matches or not would allow for a lot of willy nilly shopping. I like the idea of comparing my ID to my credit card for security purposes, but hopefully it’s for a bit more secure reasons than that.

    • Bearman says:

      Sadly it is. Again it is a rule put in place by the credit card companies to make it easier for you to use their card. If you have to jump through hoops to use a credit card, they don’t get their finance fee from the retailer.

  3. Roland says:

    I always show my ID when I purchase something with my bank card and sometimes the cashier look annoyed when I show them.

  4. Bo Lumpkin says:

    Sometimes a clerk will apologize to me for asking for ID. I usually thank them and tell them I wish everyone would check ID’s. It just makes sense. If the guy who is using it doesn’t look like the guy on the stolen driver’s license then he probably stole both of them.

  5. Bo Lumpkin says:

    I forgot to mention that the strip looks fantastic today. I loved it.

  6. Walker says:

    Because of my first name I frequently get asked for ID at stores, before boarding airplane, etc… They expect a man so are confused! None of my credit cards are signed but that doesn’t seem to be the issue.

  7. lisleman says:

    those digital signing pads are the dumbest things ever. The move to use smartphones for purchases seems dangerous to me. You can end up losing your phone and money at the same time.

  8. Mel says:

    I use to work Target security. We had all checkout employees do this but it really never made sense to me either.

    From what I could tell most people stole using fake checks, no credit cards.

  9. MJ says:

    Awesome, Bearman venturing into sequential art. Very cool! You’ve opened a can of worms and everybody will want more of them.

  10. Tony says:

    I find that very few cashiers ever check my signature on my credit card with the one I sign on the receipt. They’ve recently brought in here the choice to sign or use a PIN with your card so I always go with the PIN. A side point, I find many cashiers ask you to enter your PIN Number. They are in effect saying number twice like people who say ATM Machine.
    Great multipanel cartoon too. I read MJ’s comment so I want more!!!

    • Bearman says:

      If you have the choice between using a debit card at checkout you should always choose credit versus debit. That way, even though the money comes right out of your account either way, you get the benefit of the credit card company’s fraud protection.

  11. Nate Fakes says:

    I never did get that about signing the back of the card. If anything, why don’t they put your picture on a card? I dunno.

    • Bearman says:

      I think Chase used to do that for a while. Better yet make my face the design of the card completely. hmmm…maybe I’ll start issuing Beartoons credit cards.

  12. Colleen Dick says:

    Don’t get me started on credit card companies. They are the reason I lost my business in 2008. As a geek I have seen shocking practice both online and off when it comes to protecting credit card security. The credit card companies could do something about it if they cared. Which they don’t. They pass all the cost for fraud on to the merchants, who, in turn, pass them on to the consumer.

    Here read this http://dorkage.net/blog/2010/04/27/ach-fraud-becoming-ever-more-clever/, it’s almost as scary as what Tix & Jorge are getting up to over at the old Branco homestead.

  13. George says:

    Yeah, it trips me out that clerks only need ID if it’s a debit card but not as a credit card. And the rates for usage is different too. You would think that credit would need proof of identification.

    My wife and I are from the old school so we’re always ready with license in hand, but the clerks don’t want to see it. It seems like ID Theft is a whole lot easier these days. It’s like the stores are practicing the Don’t ask, don’t tell principle of shopping.

  14. Colleen Dick says:

    The clerks don’t actually care, they are just doing what they are told to do.

    • Bearman says:

      True…but at least tell them the real reason rather than some made up BS. Then they can decide if they want to care or not when the customer asks.

  15. G says:

    Actually, it doesn’t bother me (too much) when they ask for ID when I use a credit card.

    It’s more of a trip when they ask to see ID for other things (booze and music, for example), because hey, you know I might be some deranged old timer who don’t look nothing my picture.

    Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd if you can figure what the hell I just said, then you’re one up on me, because I haven’t a clue what I was just talking about.

  16. Colleen Dick says:

    Heh. When they card me for alcohol it’s because they see me coming with the beer and they’ve made a quick bet about my age. The card check is just to confirm the age. I deduce this because I never get carded for booze when there’s just one guy. And I always raise an eyebrow and they make up some BS about not profiling people based on appearance, good plastic surgeons, or MILF-age.

  17. Friggin Loon says:

    Urgh, remember the days of travelers checks? It was a friggin nightmare, I could never sign my name the same way twice, I was forever being questioned. Then to top it off they would compare my signature to my friggin passport signature which was done 8 years prior (and neatly) instead of looking at the photo…..oh but then again passport photos 🙁

  18. nursemyra says:

    I like the multi panels bearman

  19. I agree with the general consensus; do more strips and multi panels. Your fans have spoken.

    I’ve been saying that for years. Frank Abignale was kind of a hero.

    • Bearman says:

      His book was great. And I didn’t mind the movie either.

      I’ll do multipanels on occassion. Like a very special episode of a sitcom.

  20. Brad says:

    I tell yuh, the worst experience of my life was when someone tried to jack my identity. Now, I don’t mind showing my ID anywhere! Hell, take my DNA!

  21. jynksie says:

    My CC’s actually say in the signature line “ask for ID” rather than my siggy. This way, the signature they compare, is from my license!

    • Bearman says:

      They could refuse to take your credit card in that case because it isn’t valid without a signature. You could have both I guess

      • jynksie says:

        You are correct, but I have yet to meet a clerk who’s refused to take it. Secondly, it’s becoming more moot in regards to not signing anyways, most merchants don’t even require a signature anymore under “X” amoount of dollars. Which is a whole new thing that grinds my gears! o.O …nevermind the fact, they don’t check it when they should be.

        • Bearman says:

          Well in the age of credit card machines at self check out that you slide yourself you really don’t need to deal with anyone anyway.

  22. this apparently was not the case for the person who spent 3k at walmart after stealing my card.

    and don’t even think that those people pretend like they look at your signature but don’t really. I never sign my name the same, ever.

    i say all this to say that i’m moving to Johnny Depp’s island in the caribbean

  23. Tracy Ingram says:

    I also heard that is you put see id on the back of your card that it is then rendered invalid and they can refuse to use it.

  24. SpilledInkGuy says:

    Hahaha – maybe some merchants are a just bit wary of avatars with green hair?! 🙂

  25. Binky says:

    Can I borrow your credit card? I feel the need to buy something expensive.

  26. jammer5 says:


    A rather large caliber hand gun.


    Merry Christmas 🙂

  27. WannabeHero says:

    Great strip, man! Love the subject matter as well, as it is a good point. I know I wouldn’t use a stolen card with no signature… Er, perhaps, i should clarify, I wouldn’t use a stolen card, I swears.

  28. I think that’s why I review every credit card statement line by line …

  29. Bo Lumpkin says:

    Wow Bearman, You see what happens when you use multiple panels. You get multiple responses. You might be on to something. (Of course the pay probably isn’t any better.)

  30. bschooled says:

    So true! I saw a clerk ask a guy for ID because his card wasn’t signed. So he signed it right there, and she said “Ok then” and let it go through. Like seriously, what’s the point?

    Happy Holidays BM!

    • Bearman says:

      Well that is what the clerk is supposed to do but then match it up to their driver’s license.

      Be SAFE…I hear it snows in Canada this time of year.

  31. DadaHyena says:

    Hey, looks like Bearman’s finally got some comic characters: Barry and Manny!

  32. The clerk is supposed to check the license to the person to make sure the person’s credit card belongs to that person.

  33. Comedy Plus says:

    Bwahahahahaha. Yep we are on the same wave length. People amaze me sometimes, and then sometimes I do things just as stupid as this.

    Have a terrific day. 🙂


  1. […] Credit Card ID – Think this struck a chord as most people have dealt with this […]

Previous/Next Posts