JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s card unit signaled its renewed confidence in the economy by introducing a line of small-business cards under the name Ink from Chase, after months of industrywide cutbacks on the lucrative but risky products.
JPMorgan Chase, which announced the four new cards Wednesday, was one of many companies that have cut back sharply on their exposure to such products in the past year.
Richard Quigley, JPMorgan Chase's president of business cards, said in an interview that 70% of the $5 trillion that small-businesses spend is on checks, and with Ink, "there's a real opportunity to migrate check spending and cash spending on to credit.
One of the four products, the Ink Bold card, is what JPMorgan Chase calls the first charge card issued on the Visa Inc. or MasterCard Inc. networks. It is another JPMorgan Chase bid to compete with American Express Co., which specializes in charge cards and has a large small-business portfolio.
JPMorgan Chase said "All Ink business cards are accepted at twice as many locations worldwide as American Express," he said.
A spokesman for Amex said by email, "We know the importance of small business owners to the American economy; we've been providing them with payment solutions for two decades."