Smart Cards in US Banking: Is the Chip Hip?

October 18, 2001


New York, NY, USA October 18, 2001

Smart Cards in US Banking:     Is the Chip Hip?  

Smart cards have failed to find a valuable application to support in the US market. Now firms are touting smart cards as fun and trendy in an attempt to win over converts. They will not succeed.

According to Celent’s latest report, ?, smart cards are unlikely to find their way into the wallets of the masses without a mandate for conversion from the card consortiums. While there is renewed interest, a strong case for smart cards continues to be elusive. The stored value, or e-purse, application bombed several years ago and the reception to securing online shopping purchases with smart cards has been lukewarm at best.In their latest manifestation, smart cards are positioned as cool gadgets to carry with the potential to offer numerous value-added benefits.  

“Smart card usage continues to flourish in Europe,” comments Meredith Hickman Outwater, author of the report. “But without a serious problem to solve, such as fraud reduction, or consensus from a major banking consortium to transition in unison, smart cards are expected to languish in the US market.”

The report examines the evolution of smart cards in the US market, arguments for and against adoption, spending estimates for launching a smart card program, penetration rates by region, and future prospects. The report also highlights the efforts underway by the three major industry players: American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. 

A Table of Contents is available online.

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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Michele Pace
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Yumi Nagaoka
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Table of Contents


New York, NY, USA October 18, 2001

Smart Cards in US Banking:   Is the Chip Hip?

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Market Penetration








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