SmartCode launches contactless RFID card processing platform

Source: SmartCode

SmartCode Corp. - The RFID Company, the world's leading manufacturer of low cost, high performance RFID hardware solutions announced today its new SmartPay RFID solutions for the Contactless RFID Credit Card Market.

"SmartCode Corp. is pleased with the SmartPay offering for the Credit Card market" said Avi Ofer, SmartCode Corp. CEO & President "SmartCode unique low cost, high performance RFID Credit Card solutions enable Consumers, Merchants, Issuing and Acquiring banks with an advanced, secured and highly efficient payment platform for Small and Micro Payments. SmartCode is happy to join forces with world leading organizations such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JPMorgan Chase Citibank and HSBC in reshaping the global, cash based, payment market."

Specially designed for the Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Chase Blink, SmartCode's new SmartPay RFID solution enables a time efficient contactless procedure for credit card transactions. Not requiring any physical contact between the credit card and the terminal, the SmartPay Credit Card RFID solution enable Merchants and Consumers to reduce card processing time and increase Point Of Sale throughput. The SmartPay Credit Card RFID solution also translates to lower maintenance costs and increased flexibility of terminal positioning such as on the counter, drive through installations or embedded into a variety of fixtures.

Wall Street Journal and research firm TowerGroup estimates the market for transactions valued at less than $5 accounted for $1.32 trillion in consumer spending in 2003, representing more than 400 billion transactions. In addition, more than 37 million Americans are willing to use their cards for $5 or less and an estimated 6.5 million Americans would be comfortable using cards for transactions of less than $1, according to a study released late last year by the research firm Ipsos-Insight.

"The payment business is evolving rapidly and changing monthly," said Erik Michielsen, Director, RFID and M2M Research at ABI Research, Oyster Bay, NY. "Contactless payments benefit the consumer, merchant, and card issuer. The triangulated benefits provide high growth contactless opportunities."

RFID - The Future of Electronic Payments

The number of U.S. electronic payments topped the number of cash and check payments in 2003 for the first time, according to a study conducted by the American Bankers Association and Dove Consulting, a Boston consulting firm. Cash and checks now account for 45% of consumers' monthly payments, down from 57% in 2001 and 49% in 2003.

"Our hope is that the contactless payment feature will drive added convenience and speed to consumers," said Niki Manby, Vice President of market and technology innovation at Visa USA. "You no longer need to swipe or hand over your card."

"We're trying to really push cards to be used where cash is traditionally used," said Murdo Munro, Vice President of mobile and wireless for MasterCard International. "The challenge we have is to find products that merchants and consumers like enough to stop using cash and start using these products."

"Faster, no-contact credit transactions will speed up lines in convenience stores, movie theaters and fast-food restaurants - anywhere customers typically use cash or swipe credit and debit cards for small purchases, said Scott Rau, Senior Vice President of product development with Chase Card Services "Many of the places we're targeting for small-payment purchases are cash dominated, and they're slowly migrating to accept credit."

"We are very pleased with ExpressPay's momentum in the marketplace," says David Bonalle, Vice President and general manager of advanced payments for American Express. "Blue with ExpressPay will allow us to get more cards with contactless payment functionality into the hands of our customers nationwide."

In the last 25 years, electronic payment methods' share of non-cash payments has increased, from 15% in 1979 to 23% in 1995 to 42% in 2000—most recently reaching 55% in 2003. And not only are consumers migrating from cash and checks to electronic payment methods, but the rate at which that change is occurring is accelerating.

Consumers are embracing new electronic payment methods, and are using them to make more and more purchases in stores and online and to pay their bills. Across each venue, electronic payments account for a significant—and increasing—share of the payments mix.

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