Closing comment – Credit cards close door on “John Hancock”



Australia has entered a brave new world.

A world where four digits have curtailed penmanship and ink, where waiters carry credit card machines alongside oversized pepper grinders, and where anyone with plastic in their wallet has to remember yet another number – which can’t be 1 2 3 4.

With today being the first day where signatures are no longer accepted and pins have gone from a nice-to-have to a necessity, we thought we’d say cheers to the faithful old signature.

Now let’s start with some honesty. Who hasn’t sat across from someone and drooled a little over his or her signature? I have and so many wonderful signatures come to mind! You can tell a lot about a person from their signature with so many great c-words to describe the different styles: cursive, conservative, cheeky, creative, crude, cruel or charming.

Whatever the style and whether it’s your name, your nickname, or even a simple “X”, the signature is a tried and tested way to prove the authenticity and provenance of a document.

And I can still recall the days and months of scribbling I went through to define my signature – and I’m still not happy! I wanted something to reflect my personality and stay with me forever … or at least until my new credit card arrived and I was ready for a change.

The humble signature has played an important role in the world providing authority on official documents, ushering in new legislation, allowing shoppers around the globe to ‘charge it’, and ensuring millions of people can cash their cheques.

Our signatures have also graced the pages of millions of other documents, and over time been replaced with various modern conveniences. Here are some examples of where signatures have been replaced in recent years:

  • Correspondence – replaced with electronic signatures on emails
  • Credit cards – replaced with pins and ‘tap & go’ technologies
  • Legal documents – replaced with encrypted digital signatures

And finally we come to John Hancock. This prominent Patriot of the American Revolution will forever be remembered for his large and stylish “John Hancock” on the United States Declaration of Independence. His name is synonymous the world over with the signature.

We’ll miss you signature, but it’s not time to say R.I.P … for now it’s time for the “John Hancock” to take a rest. From time to time we’ll crack you out for a letter, an autograph or even a scented love letter!

Jack & the c word crew

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