Tuesday , September 22, 2020

Colorado Becomes Latest Market in Chase’s Contactless Rollout

Continuing its national rollout of contactless card technology, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s Chase Bank U.S.A. unit said it will begin issuing the chip-equipped cards early this month in Colorado. The announcement follows by 15 days the bank's introduction of its contactless card, which it calls “blink,” in Atlanta, the first commercial market in the rollout plan (Digital Transactions News, May 24). The announcement also comes shortly after a statement by rival American Express Co. that it is starting a nationwide rollout of its contactless card. Chase will send more than 500,000 contactless cards, which rely on radio waves to transmit account data to receivers linked to point-of-sale terminals, to Colorado cardholders. The product initially will be accepted at 400 merchant locations in 63 cities across the state, with units of Arby's LLC, 7-Eleven Inc., Regal Cinemas, and Walgreen Co. participating. All of these merchants except fast-food chain Arby's had previously said they would accept blink cards. Regal, a chain of movie houses, will begin accepting the cards in July in Colorado. Convenience-store titan 7-Eleven, which is equipping 170 stores around Denver to accept contactless cards, is also accepting AmEx's ExpressPay contactless product. “The number of merchants accepting the Chase card with blink is expected to grow steadily throughout the year,” the bank said in a statement. As it is doing in Atlanta, Chase will unleash a multi-media marketing blitz in Colorado for the technology, starting June 16, that will rely on TV, radio, newspaper, and billboard ads. Contactless technology relies on a chip-and-antenna inlay in a card or other payment token?keyfobs and cell phones have also been tried in various pilots by MasterCard International and AmEx?to send radio signals to a POS receiver when the token is waved near the point of sale. The radio waves replace the conventional card swipe, a process that the card companies say significantly speeds up tender times and makes the technology appealing to merchants with high throughput and low average tickets. Besides AmEx, MasterCard has built a contactless platform it calls PayPass, and Visa earlier this year introduced a contactless product in the U.S. it had previously tried only overseas. All of the card companies' products operate on the same ISO standard, making it possible for merchants to accept all of them on the same equipment.

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