Chase Bank and United announced that the United Mileage Plus Visa card is the first airline rewards card to feature “contactless” technology called “blink.” The cards with blink were first issued this summer to over 200,000 members in Colorado, a United hub destination.
To use United Mileage Plus Visa cards with blink, Colorado members simply hold their card near a special point-of-sale terminal at checkout, instead of swiping their card or handing it to a store employee. As cardmembers hold their card with blink near the point-of-sale terminal, the terminal will quickly emit a tone and light up to signal payment confirmation.
Members can use United Mileage Plus Visa cards with blink everywhere they currently use credit cards, plus, use the new blink functionality wherever contactless payments are accepted.
The most significant time savings can be realized in the drive-through environment, where transaction time was reduced by as much as 20 seconds as compared to cash. For merchants, blink transactions speed checkout times and enable consumers to spend less time waiting in lines. Research has shown that customers who use blink cards often spend more per transaction (could this be a mad scientist approach to earning more miles?) and are happier with their store experience.
By the end of 2005, Chase plans to introduce Chase cards with blink to other select markets and have thousands of merchant locations accepting blink across the country.