Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stored Value Cards Cut out Bills, Coins

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stored Value Cards Cut out Bills, Coins

Article excerpt

Forget digging money out of your pocket during hectic moments. Whip out plastic instead.

First Union Corp., the nation's ninth-largest bank, announced Monday a rollout of a million "smart cards" in Atlanta by the 1996 Summer Olympics and to other metropolitan areas in 1997.

Smart cards, which have microchips embedded in the plastic, have a stored cash value that could replace bills and coins for transactions as simple as buying a newspaper, using a vending machine or boarding a bus.

Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union is working with BellSouth, Diebold and Schlumberger to launch the initiative. The bank will use an operating system developed by Visa to support the stored value.

"Wherever the Visa logo appears, the consumer can use the card," said Fred Winkler, head of First Union's card products division.

The launch will include both disposable and rechargeable cards, which will be manufactured by Schlumberger, a leading maker of secured electronic transaction products. …

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