Despite booming numbers, contactless payment still has yet to earn the attention of American consumers, according to American Banker.
Most of the blame for the slide in consumer interest is placed on banks and card networks. According to Nick Holland, a senior analyst at Aite Group LCC, most contactless card owners are unaware of their cards’ capabilities due to a lack of broad-based marketing by the industry’s key backers.
Yet the apparent boom in card issuance belies any concerns over the future of contactless payment. Mastercard alone claims to have issued more than 66 million cards worldwide – a 50% increase from last year. JPMorgan Chase also boasts some 30 million blink cards in circulation. The figure that doesn’t get touted is the actual volume of contactless transactions – which may in fact be much smaller than the tens of millions of cards would suggest.
Aside from an underwhelming marketing push, contactless payment has also met some resistance from merchants unwilling to pay for costly terminal installations. Ingenico is currently working on a solution that would enable terminal operators to simply plug in a module to add contactless capabilities. VeriFone and Hypercom are also working on cheaper terminals.
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