Anticipated growth in smart card systems globally threatens to snatch a huge portion of the banking industry's future credit card payments market, according to a study by Killen & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm based in Palo Alto, CA.

Some sources say that nonbanks like American Express and technology providers such as Motorola and Schlumberger are positioned to reap the rewards of a burgeoning global market for smart cards, while commercial banks drag their feet, unwilling to tamper with their profitable credit card programs.

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