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The 'wave' of the future
J.P. Morgan Chase set to issue new 'contactless' credit card that you wave instead of swipe.
May 19, 2005: 11:39 AM EDT
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Tired of swiping your credit card over and over because the magnetic strip is worn? Help is on the way: cards that you wave, rather than swipe.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (Research), the nation's largest credit-card issuer, said Thursday it will issue a new credit card with so-called "blink" technology that can be waved in front of a special reader, as well as being swiped through a traditional terminal.

The nation's No. 2 bank said it will start rolling out the cards this summer and reissue new "blink" cards to existing customers.

"We believe these innovative cards with blink will provide merchants and cardmembers with the increased speed and convenience they want at the point-of-sale," said Carter Franke, chief marketing officer of the company's credit card division, in a statement.

J.P. Morgan Chase has about 94 million credit cards in circulation and is the first bank to issue Visa- and MasterCard-branded cards with the new "blink" technology.

The "contactless" cards contain a special chip recognized by a merchant's terminal when consumers pass the card in front of the machine. The reader beeps to signal that the transaction has been authorized.

The new payment method doesn't require a customer signature, making it more convenient and time-saving for consumers.

The new cards are embedded with encryption software to prevent duplication and data theft, the bank said, noting there was less chance of losing a card if you don't have to hand it to a store employee.

For now, Chase cardholders can use the new cards at movie theaters, certain retailers such as 7-Eleven (Research), quick service restaurants and drug stores. The banks plans to add more merchants as the cards are rolled out to new geographic markets.

Additionally, American Express Co (Research). plans to issue its "ExpressPay" version of the wave cards to new credit-card customers next month, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Last February, CNN/Money reported that some industry watchers were skeptical about "contactless" cards, saying that they would raise security and privacy concerns.

Observers noted at the time that card issuers were eager to offer new payment options, especially at quick-service destinations, as they seek new, younger customers.  Top of page


J.P. Morgan Chase & Company
American Express Company
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