FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Credit Card Holders in Georgia to Pilot "Blink" Cards

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will begin a pilot rollout of its new "blink" credit cards with about 400,000 cardholders in Atlanta and other Georgia cities. The bank will begin mailing the new cards to customers June 1.

Instead of the typical magnetic stripes, the blink cards use RFID chips to hold information. The card merely needs to be held close to a reader rather than swiped through one. Chase is hoping that the technology will speed checkouts; it estimates that blink cards can shave 20 seconds off a typical transaction at a fast-food restaurant. That doesn't sound like much, but those seconds add up.

7-Eleven convenience stores will be among the first retailers to be outfitted with readers for blink cards. The readers should be in place in the Atlanta area by next month, and 7-Eleven hopes to have readers installed in all its stores by year's end.

Atlanta's reputation as a trendsetting city led Chase to select it as the first pilot city. Says Tom O'Donnell, senior vice president of JPMorgan's card division, "It's a dynamic place where people are on the go."

Source: AP (Excite)