To the Editor:
"Contactless Cards Go Untouched" [Jan. 22] outlines the challenges that financial institutions and businesses have faced in implementing and promoting contactless card technology, something that Aite Group's Nick Holland attributes to a poor job of marketing "Tap and Go" to businesses and consumers.
While I agree that a lack of effective marketing has contributed to the low levels of adoption of contactless cards, there are additional issues, including the card providers' traditional fee structure and potential security risks associated with contactless card usage, that have led businesses, in particular, to be wary of adoption.
Another fatal flaw of contactless cards is the delivery mechanism: This technology is a means to deliver simplified payments, but it is still constrained by, and functions like, plastic. The market expects the intelligence of a contactless chip to do more than a mag stripe did 40 years ago, but this can only happen when the chip is tied to a mobile phone.
It is important to note that contactless cards represent only one delivery option of Tap and Pay functionality and that there are proven, successful examples of mobile payment implementation and adoption by financial institutions, businesses and consumers alike, that utilize functionality other than contactless cards.
While contactless card usage continues to lag, mobile payments are alive and well in communities whose financial institutions, businesses and consumers are adopting them to drive shop local campaigns, to bypass the ever-increasing processing fees of the payment networks, and to comply with card network's rules and regulations by providing their customers with more control over their spending.
Meyer Malka, co-CEO
Bling Nation, Palo Alto, Calif.