Target Dumps Not So Smart Cards

from the let's-try-this-again... dept

Lots of news is going around about how retailer Target is dropping the “smart cards” they’ve been offering with Visa for the past few years. Every few years, people make a big stink about smart cards in the US, and every time they don’t go very far. While they’ve caught on in other places around the world, people wonder why the US sticks with dumb cards. Perhaps that’s because the “smart cards” we’re offering aren’t very smart. They don’t do much to take advantage of the so-called “smarts” – and what little they do isn’t all that compelling to end users. Furthermore, there was the marketing issue where both AmEx and Visa spent all their marketing dollars telling people what smart cards look like (“oooh, look, it’s got a chip!”) and forgot to point out why that’s useful to anyone.

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Comments on “Target Dumps Not So Smart Cards”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I had to get a smart card

Due to a change in my marriage status I had to go to a laundry mat for the first time in a long time. I stopped at the bank first and grabbed a roll of quarters. The laundry mat I went to no longer uses quarters, but smart cards. For $5 you get a smart card and 2 or 3 dollars on it (refunded when the card is returned). Using the card in this setting is easy. Different machines cost different amounts the smart card handles it all and shows the balance on the card after each use. I do think, one time, the card got debited in incorrect amount and there is no real way to check in this environment (no paper trail). You have to pay attention and the employees don’t want to deal with it.
Overall I like it.

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