The gimmicks are over as smart payment cards enter prime time in the USA. This week a major retailer has decided to give smart cards a big boost by installing smart card terminals as well as announcing plans to issue millions of smart VISAs. MN-based Target Corporation will issue the new smart cards through its Retailers National Bank affiliate this Fall, and will deploy smart card POS terminals in all 990 Target Stores by the Spring of 2002. Target currently has more than 36 million retail credit card accounts, and plans to convert millions of these accounts to smart VISA cards.Target says it will focus on developing a loyalty function on the co-branded smart VISA that could enable a cardholder to download electronic coupons onto the card from a PC. Target also expects to expand the functionality of its current rewards program offered under the Target Guest Card program with the new smart card. The company currently operates 1,320 stores in 46 states including 990 Target stores, 266 Mervyn’s stores and 64 Marshall Field’s stores. For more information visit www.target.com.