The Smart Card Alliance's 2007 annual conference was held Oct. 9 to 11 in Boston. For 15 years, this event has brought together industry experts from around the world to discuss topics involving smart card technology, contactless payments and mobile payments. This year's program provided insight into the adoption of contactless payments in the retail environment and its successes in the transportation industry.
Included was a tour organized by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to see its contactless payment solution, the Charlie card, in action.
Representatives from MasterCard Worldwide, American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services presented their views on worldwide payments and future trends.
A roundtable discussion followed, which included a major retailer and a representative of the Baltimore Ravens football team. Both speakers outlined successes with contactless card programs.
A compelling topic covered was mobile payments: There is no doubt that such payments are coming to a cell phone near you soon. But what form will they take?
Current opinion seems to favor near field communication, but the overall structure of the payment process still seems murky. This topic bears watching.
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