SAN FRANCISCO (4/29/08)--Contactless technology will become mainstream for payment card transactions--with 57 million consumers using chip-embedded credit cards to make payments by 2013, more than doubling the 24.8 million in 2008, according to a recent study. The report, released by Javelin Strategy and Research, notes that the promotion of non-network payment products will drive acceptance, thwart competition and pave the path for mobile payments. The products will lead to radical changes in personal finance, Javelin said. However, consumers won’t benefit from contactless payments until the primary players--card networks, financial institutions, mobile carriers, merchants and handset manufacturers--work toward a unified solution, said Javelin Founder/President James Van Dyke. Progress in the contactless payments area has been slowed because there isn’t sufficient incentive for merchants and wireless carriers to make investments that will enable contactless infrastructure development and evolution to mobile payments. Card networks must create acceptance among merchants and migration among wireless carriers with a step-by-step contactless-to-mobile conversion strategy that builds on consumers’ needs for simplicity, integrated financial management and control, the report said. “To drive the next phase of contactless payments, card networks must help merchants create competitive, desirable products: closed-loop gift cards and private label cards,” said Bruce Cundiff, Javelin director of payments research and consulting. “This will create a robust contactless infrastructure, hinder the development of products and networks from threatening powerhouses such as PayPal and Google, and spur wireless carriers to push the speed of near field communications-based (NFC) technology.” NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology used to exchange data between devices within four inches of each other.