For merchants, a credit card transaction is often more secure than other forms of payment, such as cheques, because the issuing bank commits to pay the merchant the moment the transaction is verified, whether the consumer pays their bill or not. The only exception would be the American Express card, which does not guarantee payment to the merchant if the consumer defaults on payment. For each purchase, the bank charges a commission (discount fee), to the merchant for this service and there may be a certain delay before the agreed payment is received by the merchant. In addition, a merchant may be penalized or have their ability to receive payment using that credit card restricted if there are too many cancellations or reversals of charges.
In some countries, like the Nordic countries, banks guarantee payment on stolen cards only if an ID card is checked and the ID card number/civic registration number is written down on the receipt together with the signature. In these countries merchants therefore usually ask for ID. Non-Nordic citizens, who are unlikely to possess a Nordic ID card or driving license, will instead have to show their passport, and the passport number will be written down on the receipt, sometimes together with other information. Some shops use the card's PIN code for identification, and in that case showing an ID card is not necessary.