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05, February 2009
On the 28th of January, Citigroup subsidiary CitiCard Japan announced the launch of a new signature-less credit card system - a first for industry in Japan. Aside from saving time at the register, using cards which do not require a verification signature is a generally considered an easier way to pay. The new signature-free card, a CitiCard Japan Diner's Club credit card, is currently available only to high net worth and corporate users, however there are plans for its introduction to the wider public in the future.
To use the new "Diner's Club Sign-less Style" card, members must first call CitiCard Japan to register for the service and set a balance limit. Afterwards, CitiCard will telephone participating restaurants and shops to inform them of the card holder's membership in the program. Finally, merchants will contact the customer to confirm the status of their club membership, preventing identity fraud and program abuse.
When club member visits a participating merchant, there is no need to present identification or sign a receipt. A general dislike of signing for purchases prevails in Japan, so the electronic, sign-free system should be considered a true benefit by many.
The number of merchants participating in the new program is currently limited to approximately 10 high-end restaurants and retailers in the Tokyo area, however the number is expected to rise in the near future.
February 5, 2009 Fuji Sankei Business