When does Apple Pay require a signature?

Apple Pay is the convenient new electronic payment method that Apple has built into the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Sometimes it isn't exactly convenient, though, and you may be required to electronically sign for the transaction. Isn't not having to do stuff like that the point? What's setting off the signature requirement, exactly?

In theory, Apple Pay is fantastically convenient: Just aim your iPhone at the payment terminal, hold down your finger on the Touch ID sensor, and the phone takes care of the rest, securely and quickly. But in some cases you may be required to sign for the purchase as well.

It isn't always the same vendor, and it isn't always the dollar amount that's setting it off. John Martellaro at the Mac Observer has done some digging to find out what triggers the signature requirement.

wondered about that, so I asked my own credit card issuers about their policies. What I found is that, in my two cases, 1) there is no fixed dollar amount that dictates when I have to sign and 2) there is a very sophisticated, tiered fraud prevention system, from the credit card corporate level, then down to the issuing bank, and finally the merchant that may dictate when I have to also sign.

So it turns out that the reason may vary depending on what credit card is being used, what the issuing bank does, what merchant you're at, and what existing policies are in place for electronic transactions through every step of the way.

Source: The Mac Observer

Peter Cohen