Two major North American smart card trials announced breakthroughs in card acceptance.

Three post offices on New York City's Upper West Side began last week to accept the Mondex and Visa Cash cards that Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank are issuing.

Meanwhile, 636 parking meters are being installed this month for the Mondex program in Guelph, Canada.

Such high-volume, low-dollar transaction capabilities are seen as essential to getting consumers comfortable with the electronic cash alternatives.

"We see this as an opportunity to make it easier for customers to do business with us," said Terry Carter, assistant treasurer of the U.S. Postal Service. "Our participation in the pilot puts us at the forefront of leading-edge technology."

"We hope the Guelph project represents just the start of a new way to pay for parking," said George MacKay, president of J.J. MacKay Canada Ltd., the Nova Scotia company producing the meters.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.