ANZ smart card release imminent

ANZ Bank plans to begin the release of its smart cards in Australia in the middle of December 2001, just ahead of new privacy laws on December 21.

Smart cards are similar to a credit card, with a magnetic strip. However, they contain a computer chip that can store large amounts of information, including electronic cash, frequent-flyer loyalty scheme information, and details of medical treatment.

This ability concerns many people who fear privacy will be compromised. American Express is already marketing its smart cards in Australia, targeting the 20 to 30-year-old age group. The New South Wales Government is actively pushing for the introduction of the cards for welfare and transport services.