Chase: 7 Million Contactless Cards Give Retailers 40 Percent Edge Over Cash

Written by Evan Schuman
July 31st, 2006

With a year of charges under its moneybelt, JP Morgan Chase on Monday released first-year statistics for its contactless Blink cards, trying to bolster the argument that the cards deliver better than traditional magstripe cards and cash.

The stats gathered from the seven million contactless Chase cards issued?in Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas?do indeed show strong improvements over older options, such as a 40 percent boost in the average ticket sale size when compared with cash and a 35 percent advantage in purchase frequency when compared with magstripe cards.

But there is some question about how much of those improved numbers are because consumers liked the contactless cards better than the alternatives or because of the cards’ novelty. If those statistics hold or improve in the next year or two, as the contactless payment’s gee-whiz factor fades, that may be much more meaningful.

The stats themselves, though, do show strong returns. This is similar to findings released by MasterCard earlier this month when it reached the surprising internal conclusion that it’s own contactless cards were doing gosh darn wonderfully.

The new Chase details also spoke to reduced waiting time for consumers. The time spent waiting in lines was cut 15-20 percent in stores and some 40 percent at fast-food drive-thrus, which delivered what Chase said a average transaction time reduction of between 10 percent and 40 percent.


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Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

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