Contactless Credit Card Use Still Low Nationwide

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Contactless credit card makers are making a special effort to increase the use of so-called "blink" cards, penetration rates for which have not met expectations. Visa USA reported it is tracking every transaction, seeking to learn why failed transactions didn't work, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. has launched an advertising campaign to teach users when and where the cards can be used.

Contactless cards work by embedding a small radio chip into the card, which then debits a customer's account when held in front of an electronic reader. The technology was first made famous through the use of key-fobs at gas pumps.

With only 4% of credit card users going contactless, companies are trying as hard as they can to make the first use a positive one, according to several reports. Contactless cards can have a failed transaction if they are held too far from the card reader or are not placed square in front of it. Plus the card needs to be activated first, which a retailer and customer might not know in advance, leading to frustration with the new technology.

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