The idea of the liability shift for CC fraud was to incentivize retailers to upgrade their equipment without forcing them to do so. But with new chip software, simple things like bar tabs are not feasible with the technology which is hampering merchant adoption. Bar owners would actually have to track spending the old fashioned way - pen and paper. That certainly doesn't generate much excitement for patrons, its hard enough already to get your card back on a Friday night!
Critics have told me that banks opted for a signature versus a PIN code because it saves them large amounts of money by not having to store PIN codes for everyone. Banks, on the other hand, say they feared that their customers would have a difficult time remembering a four digit code. (This, despite millions of people already using check cards and other access cards with PIN codes.) But the simple fact is that with chip-and-signature, banks created a new, less secure way to pay—when a more secure version was available. The costs of extra security, to be fair, weren’t inconsequential—the Aite Group estimates that supporting chip-and-PIN would cost banks a billion dollars, and merchants another $4 billion. But that cost is divided among dozens of banks and thousands of businesses. It would’ve led to increased security for consumers.