Howdy Lifehacker, Every time I order pizza from Crust, I faithfully hand over my credit card number, expiry and CVV during the ordering process, then the driver asks for my signature. Am I obliged to sign if I've already provided my CVV? Also, what consequences would there be if I happened to sign the receipt as Mickey Mouse? Thanks, Might Be Mickey
Pizza picture from Shutterstock
The card verification code (CVV) is used to authenticate that the buyer has physical possession of a credit card when a remote transaction takes place. For most online purchases, this is all that's required, but pizza delivery is different -- your credit card details secure the order, but it usually isn't processed until the face-to-face 'transaction' takes place.
We contacted one of Australia's leading banks with your query. It confirmed that a merchant is allowed to put processes in place requiring a credit card signature for online transactions, even after a purchase has been made:
Merchants might often ask for a signature to verify the cardholder and the online transaction they have just made – such as the delivery of the pizza. Our approach to credit card purchases online is to encourage merchants to authenticate who is undertaking the online credit card transaction.
As you'd expect, this is to combat against fraudulent transactions and is actually pretty helpful to consumers -- it's an extra barrier of protection that someone who steals your card has to navigate.
That said, most pizza delivery drivers don't check the signature very carefully (when they remember to ask at all). Indeed, I've been known to scribble a rough approximation of my signature through sheer laziness at times -- not once has the delivery driver challenged the result or even asked to see my card.
Which brings us to the second part of your question: If you did sign as 'Mickey Mouse' chances are it will get processed without question, and since you won't be challenging the transaction, all will be good. But if it does cause problems, you're likely to get banned by your favourite pizza joint, and you'd also run the risk of your card being stopped by your bank altogether. Ergo, if you want to impersonate Mickey Mouse, we'd stick to helium balloons.
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