Boston-based card manufacturer Arthur Blank & Co. says it has signed an agreement to supply contactless cards that customers will use at franchises of All Night Auto, a company that offers car repairs outside of normal business hours. A chip on the card will record maintenance work done on a car and can also be used for loyalty programs, Jake Jacobs, senior vice president for sales at Arthur Blank, tells CardLine.
"You might get a coupon from a local movie house that you can use while you’re waiting for your car," Jacobs says. The card also carries an embedded antenna so that the card and reader can communicate via radio signals. Jacobs says Shelby Township, MI-based Midnight Auto, the parent company of All Night Auto, expects to issue more than 1 million chip cards over the next few years. The deal represents Arthur Blank’s debut as a supplier of contactless cards, which are mainly used now in mass transit and for building access control. Jacobs says the company has invested in equipment for embedding chips and antennas into plastic cards and hired a director of business development for contactless cards, also known as Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, cards. Jacobs sees a growing market for RFID cards at such locations as fast food restaurants because of the convenience the cards offer consumers. "You just wave and pay and go," he says. There are six All Night Auto facilities in Michigan, Arizona and Oklahoma, and the parent company says it plans to open 12 more locations this year and 36 in 2005.