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Target To Drop "Smart" Credit Card

The retailer plans to phase out chip-embedded credit cards that allowed cardholders to download special coupons.
NEW YORK (AP) -- In a blow to "smart-card" technology, Target Corp. plans to phase out chip-embedded credit cards that allowed cardholders to download special coupons.

The Target smart Visa card, being abandoned because it saw limited use, requires users to get discounts through a special reader attached to their computers or at in-store kiosks.

Target's was the largest use of the technology on a nationwide basis by a major retailer, according to Catuity Inc., the Detroit-based company whose software runs the system for Target.

Since Catuity disclosed Target's plans on Sunday, Catuity's stock has sunk to a 52-week low.

Smart cards have emerged as multipurpose payment mechanisms in Japan and parts of Europe but have struggled to take off in the United States, outside of controlled settings like university campuses or military bases.

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