Chase: 7 Million Contactless Cards Give Retailers 40 Percent Edge Over Cash

With a year of charges under its moneybelt, JP Morgan Chase on Monday released first-year statistics for its contactless Blink cards, trying to bolster the argument that the cards deliver better than traditional magstripe cards and cash.

The stats gathered from the seven million contactless Chase cards issued?in Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas?do indeed show strong improvements over older options, such as a 40 percent boost in the average ticket sale size when compared with cash and a 35 percent advantage in purchase frequency when compared with magstripe cards.

But there is some question about how much of those improved numbers are because consumers liked the contactless cards better than the alternatives or because of the cards' novelty. If those statistics hold or improve in the next year or two, as the contactless payment's gee-whiz factor fades, that may be much more meaningful.

The stats themselves, though, do show strong returns. This is similar to findings released by MasterCard earlier this month when it reached the surprising internal conclusion that it's own contactless cards were doing gosh darn wonderfully.

The new Chase details also spoke to reduced waiting time for consumers. The time spent waiting in lines was cut 15-20 percent in stores and some 40 percent at fast-food drive-thrus, which delivered what Chase said a average transaction time reduction of between 10 percent and 40 percent.