Chase card services announced that it is introducing “Blink,” a new faster, easier way to pay, using RFID chips and contactless payment systems. With the Chase Blink announcement, the North American contactless payment market-starting gun has sounded and the race to redefine cashless payments is on. Erik Michielson, ABI Research director of RFID and ubiquitous networks, comments: “Mass issuer contactless deployment such as Chase Blink reinforce what card associations and merchants have seen in trials after trials — secure contactless payments provide consumers with a faster, less-hassle-prone way to pay and benefit issuers, merchants and consumers. Moreover, this announcement demonstrates that merchants, point-of-sale technology vendors, card associations and issuers are working together to connect dependent components of the payment value chain.” Trials have successfully reduced lines and addressed consumer pain point in settings where there are tiresome queues and lengthy waits, such as movie theatres, gas stations, fast food restaurants, coffee shops and convenience stores. In ABI Research’s recent 2005 RFID Contactless Payment study, the company noted that joint MasterCard and Visa contactless momentum was building at the issuer level. JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and MBNA have been involved in PayPass deployment for months, all the while progressively building contactless credibility with merchants and familiarity with consumers. The ABI Research report forecasts the contactless market by convenience store, coffee shop, gas station, quick serve restaurant, big box retail and other specific applications directly tied to acquiring, issuing, car association, merchant and technology developer interests.