Providian notches up one million smart card users

Providian notches up one million smart card users

Providian Financial Corporation says it has issued more than one million chip-based bank cards to US consumers since first launching its Visa-branded smart card nine months ago.

"We are committed to issuing a large volume of multi-application smart cards with the ability to evolve and expand over time to suit our customers' needs. At one million cards, we are just getting started," says Bill Buchanan, executive vice president of business development, Providian.

Providian recently moved from an 8K chip to a 32K multi-application card offering new applications, increased data storage capacity, and a platform for future loyalty programmes.

Providian's chip card programme has been promoted to consumers as a secure mechanism for shopping over the Internet using a card reader connected to a PC. The bank says it is particularly encouraged by Visa' recent contract with the Target retail chain for the implementation of chip card readers at its stores nationwide. With momentum building among traditional, offline retailers, the company says it looks forward to working with merchants to help implement smart card programs on a wider scale.

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