MKTG 101A: PRINCIPLES OF MARKETING
Topic: Product decisions in marketing (PRODUCT)
Case No. 4: “SMART Cards”
mart is the operative word among many product developers these days. For example, smart card is the name of an advanced form of pocket- and purse-sized cards that may soon usher in a new era of cashless electronic commerce.
Although they resemble familiar ATM cards, each smart card is equipped with a computer chip instead of a black magnetic strip. Basic designs equipped with memory chips function simply as stored value cards that are loaded with money over the phone or at a cash machine. The cards can then be used to make purchases and pay for telephone calls. More sophisticated smart cards containing actual microprocessors are capable of carrying several different currencies(French francs, Deutsche marks, and British pounds, for example(in different electronic "pockets.”
The high-tech cards can also be loaded with the user’s identification, medical histories, and other personal information. Smart cards can provide retailers with a mechanism for tracking individual purchase behavior at the point of sale and using the information for store loyalty programs. Moreover a new generation of digital mobile telephones has a swipe slot that can be used to transfer data to a smart card. “Contactless” smart cards contain miniature antennas that allow the cards to communicate with a remote transmitter or receiver. The Java programming language devised by Sun Microsystems allows quick adaptation of smart card technology to a multitude of applications. According to Kevin Loosemore, managing director of UK-based De La Rue Card Systems, the capabilities built into the new cards have been made possible by quantum leaps in the computing power built into a single tiny chip. “As we go into the new millennium, we will be able to put the same computer capability on a...
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