Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

American Express Launches Blue

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

American Express Launches Blue

Article excerpt

The low-profile U.S. smart card industry just got a publicity boost when American Express launched its Blue card, which combines magnetic strip and chip capabilities to facilitate transactions in both physical and cyber worlds. Unlike Visa's multifunction (mag stripe and chip) card, which has quietly supported government pilot projects in recent months (ABA/BJ, June, p.56), the American Express card was ushered in with no less than a rock concert in New York's Central Park, and a splashy TV and billboard ad campaign that sought to put a very public face on what has been an underwhelmingly received technology. The Blue card, which has been offered at no interest for the first six months and with an ongoing rate as low as 9.99% for revolving balances, has also been packaged with a smart card reader (available free until Jan. 31) that will attach to a port in the back of a personal computer. With it, consumers can make secure Internet purchases using a digital certificate stored an the microchip. The company is a licensee of the Multos operating system owned by Mondex and Mastercard International, and of the Proton operating system, which it co-owns with Visa and others. …

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