What makes a smart card smart? Well, each card is loaded with a mini-microprocessor that allows the user to enter identification data for each transaction. It works similarly to a bank debit card where the user must enter a password. Smart cards can also have an amount of money “loaded” so the user can use it like traveler’s checks. AmEx’s new Blue Card is a credit card plus. It comes with a menu of services, including a site where customers can pay bills online and fraud protection.
Europeans have been “smart” for a long time. U.S. companies realize that, with the need for tighter credit card security, it’s time to embrace smart cards. The booming e-commerce activity alone could help bolster smart card supporters.
Experts hypothesize that smart cards will grow in use 60 percent over the next year.