" />

The New York-based issuer is dropping its Blink contactless-payment brand from new and renewed cards and instead is using the contactless brands supported by the major card networks–Visa Inc.’s payWave and MasterCard Worldwide’s PayPass. However, Chase will continue to use Blink when describing contactless payments in statements, brochures and other customer correspondence, Tom O’Donnell, Chase Card Services senior vice president, tells PaymentsSource.

Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group, contends the devil is in the details regarding Chase’s branding strategy. “It’s all about how they position it,” he says.

Acceptance marks at least partly drive consumer behavior at the point of sale, so branding that does not involve the acceptance marks–either on the door or at the point of sale, causes confusion, he says.

As for continuing to use the Blink brand in customer correspondence, Ablowitz offered a diplomatic view.

“It’s hard to distill Chase’s overall strategy,” he says. “If Chase is planning to execute on this in ways that are understandable to the consumer, that is great. It’s got to be clear and understandable to the consumer, and it’s got to reduce the confusion.”

Ablowitz suggests that any brand seeking success at the point of sale learn from the initial contactless rollouts. Too many clerks did not know their stores accepted it, and too many consumers did not know their cards supported it.

“All the NFC-based mobile-payments rollouts are trying to tackle this consumer and clerk awareness issue that was so pervasive with the initial contactless rollouts,” Ablowitz says. “The issue of being clear and direct with the consumer is very important to having success with this new and not-well-understood payment type in the consumer world.”

Payments Source, November, 11, 2011