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Target Corp. announced that it will eliminate the use of "smart" computer chips in its Visa cards, a move considered to be a setback to the growth of "smart card" technology.

When Target started rolling out the cards three years ago, the goal was to allow consumers to download coupons from the Internet or from in-store kiosks, and then get the discounts at checkout when using the cards.

While Target has some nine million people holding its Visa cards, the use of "smart card" technology was limited.
KC's View:
We saw a guy at FMI's MarkeTechnics conference this week who was peddling a technology that creates a small scanner that can attach to a key ring and is used to scan the bar codes contained on the coupons you find published in those inserts that fall out of the Sunday paper. The company wants consumers, once they scan the coupons they want, to then take the scanner to the supermarket, plug it into the dock when checking out, and then get the discounts.

That sounds even less likely to work than the "smart card" technology that Target couldn't make work.