American Express is to offer contactless chip functionality as a standard feature on all new Blue credit cards issued across the US.
The card company's move continues the growing momentum for RFID-embedded contactless payment cards in the US. It follows the recent announcement from Chase Bank that it is to issue millions of contactless chip cards bearing the MasterCard and Visa marque.
Much like MasterCard's PayPass and Visa's contactless chip, American Express ExpressPay is being targeted at the fast check-out convenience market.
In line with the plans for nationwide roll-out, the card scheme has announced the recruitment of 7-Eleven as a national merchant partner. The convenience outlet currently has ExpressPay-enabled readers in 170 stores in a test market and plans a full roll out to its more than 5300 U.S. stores by early 2006.
American Express says it has been testing ExpressPay since 2002. The pilots involved thousands of consumers making more than a million transactions at hundreds of merchants. Test results showed that, on average, ExpressPay transactions are 63% faster than using cash. Market research with pilot participants also confirmed that consumers view convenience and simplicity of use as two of the major benefits. Important merchant benefits include reduced transaction time and increased spending relative to cash.