Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

49 Federal Communications Law Journal 701 (1997)


A smart card, or stored value card, is a credit card-sized payment mechanism with an embedded integrated circuit chip. Current technology allows value to be placed on the card through an ATM terminal, a telephone equipped with a card reader, or a personal computer equipped with a card reader. The suitability of the card for small-value, high-volume transactions indicates that stored value cards could, to a large extent, replace currency transactions. Existing laws are not tailored to deal with the nature of transactions involving stored value cards, nor do they address nonbank card issuers. The integration of telecommunications and financial services strains traditional regulatory practices in both areas. Regulation of electronic money should be structured to eliminate barriers to competition and allow for innovation while creating a level playing field for both financial and nonfinancial issuers.