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Chase Reconnects With Contactless Cards

Digital Transactions

Giant card issuer Chase may not be big enough to single-handedly make contactless cards commonplace in the United States, but now that it plans to once again issue tap-and-go credit and debit plastic, the money-center bank could come close.

Chase, a unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co., says it will begin before the year is out issuing contactless EMV cards bearing the Visa Inc. brand, first to its Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Slate cardholders as their cards reach renewal or on opening a new account.

Following on will be all other Chase Visa credit cards, including cobranded ones through 2019. In the second half of 2019, Chase contactless debit cards will begin appearing.

Chase said the timing is right because 70% of U.S. merchants have the point-of-sale technology to accept contactless EMV cards. It’s the same technology used by mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.

Thirteen years ago, Chase, with its blink card, was one of the first to issue a contactless payment card on a broad scale. Those cards relied on magnetic-stripe-equivalent radio frequency technology.

Other issuers followed, but contactless payments failed to catch on. The blink brand lingered until its last incarnation was discontinued in 2014. These newest cards use EMV contactless technology to secure the payment data.


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