Singapore, August 28:

Asia-Pacific consumers believe that smart cards offering new payment options, greater security and more convenience will revolutionise the way people pay, a survey stated today.

Seventy-three per cent of the residents in the survey commissioned by Visa Asia Pacific predict that smart cards, also known as chip cards as they carry an embedded microchip, will become an important part of everyday life. The poll involving more than 1,800 respondents in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore found 68 per cent saying the cards were the most important items.

Compared with the magnetic strip card, a smart card offers more services, convenience and choice. Those polled were consumers between the ages of 18 and 50 who owned at least one type of payment card and a mobile phone or a computer. “Smart cards can store encrypted, confidential information, which is significantly more secure than on a magnetic strip card,” said Peter Manners of Visa Asia Pacific. “Chip cards can also combine multiple functions or applications from different industries such as loyalty or discount points, identification, access, transit or health information,” he said.