01 June 1998

THE PHASED withdrawal of banks' magnetic striped cards in favour of smartcards was announced by the Association for Payment Clearing Services and equally smartly rebuffed by the British Retail Consortium. The Consortium's view is that the bankers have jumped the gun, with many operational and technical issues remaining in the air. In a letter to APACS, the Consortium argues: 'There has so far been no dialogue on the commercial issues and these must now be discussed and resolved if we are to progress matters further.'BRC points-out that the introduction of chip-based cards could be a costly venture, of which the financial implications remain unaddressed. [English translation: 'Who's going to foot the bill?']