New Smart Card Alliance Research Identifies Best Practices for Promoting Consumer Use of Contactless Payments

New Smart Card Alliance Research Identifies Best Practices for Promoting Consumer Use of Contactless Payments

Princeton Junction, N.J., September 3, 2009–New Smart Card Alliance Contactless and Mobile Payments Council research has identified issuer and merchant best practices for driving consumer use of contactless payments. The Council presents its research in a new white paper, “Issuer and Merchant Best Practices: Promoting Contactless Payments Usage and Acceptance,” available for download at /publications-issuer-and-merchant-best-practices-promoting-contactless-payments-usage-and-acceptance.

“Over the past five years, contactless payment has had the fastest deployment and acceptance of any emerging payments technology in recent memory,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “Though acceptance continues to rise, we need to look at the next steps in advancing the technology. The goal of this white paper is to outline the best practices necessary for the industry to move past the early adoption phase and prepare the payment infrastructure for the next innovation in proximity payments–NFC-enabled mobile phones.”

The Council studied the effectiveness of certain issuer and merchant activities in marketing, promotion, and consumer and employee awareness in order to determine the best practices for promoting consumer awareness and use of contactless payments. Some best practices detailed in the white paper include: providing basic information on benefits and on how and where to use the cards; targeting cardholders by demographics; creating “buzz;” identifying champions for contactless benefits; creating incentives; using multiple communication vehicles to deliver key messages; and many more.

“The white paper also includes best practices for other industry stakeholders. It is our view that all members of the ecosystem–including acquirers, processors, vendors, payment brands, and industry associations–need to be engaged and coordinated to play a role in making contactless payments a success,” added Vanderhoof

Participants involved in the development of this white paper and in the issuer survey included: Collis America, Cubic, Discover Financial Services, First Data Corporation, Giesecke & Devrient, IBM, INSIDE Contactless, MasterCard Worldwide, Oberthur Technologies, VeriFone, and ViVOtech.

About the Smart Card Alliance Contactless and Mobile Payments Council Research

Since mid-2005, leading financial issuers have placed tens of millions of contactless credit and debit cards and devices into the hands of consumers worldwide, while over 153,000 merchant locations accept the technology.

In early 2009, the Council’s Consumer Work Group conducted a series of interviews with contactless credit and debit card issuers and payment brands to understand what programs issuers had instituted to drive consumer usage and awareness and which programs were the most successful. This white paper reports the research findings and describes the best practices that issuers found to be most effective.

About the Smart Card Alliance Contactless and Mobile Payments Council

The Contactless and Mobile Payments Council is one of several Smart Card Alliance technology and industry councils. The Council was formed to focus on facilitating the adoption of contactless and mobile payments in the U.S. through education programs for consumers, merchants and issuers. The group is bringing together financial payments industry leaders, merchants and suppliers. The Council’s primary goal is to inform and educate the market about the value of contactless and mobile payment and work to address misconceptions about the capabilities and security of contactless technology. Council participation is open to any Smart Card Alliance member who wishes to contribute to the Council projects.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit