MIAMI - Stymied in previous efforts to coax U.S. banks to accept smart cards, Visa International is using its market heft to induce price breaks for banks that agree to convert their magnetic stripe card portfolios.

The move comes a year after American Express Co. enjoyed a marketing coup with Blue, a hybrid card whose launch was so successful that the company struggled to produce cards quickly enough to meet demand. Perhaps stung by that move, Visa is now applying its massive market reach and a renewed commitment to the effort.

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