Smart card issues slow

The uptake of smart cards by business in Australia has been fairly slow, with American Express Blue and ANZ's First and Gold cards being the only mass-market offerings at present. NRMA is planning to issue its two million members smart-card-based membership cards, which will work on toll roads, public transport, car parks and other locations.

More large companies are finally formulating plans to put the cards into consumers' hands. A single smart card could eventually serve for both online and offline identification, a traditional credit/debit card, a loyalty program membership card, a government benefits card, and more.

Banks will have strong role in promoting smart cards, since financial institutions play such a major role in customers' lives, with AMEX Blue and ANZ First cards leading the way in raising customer awareness.