The New York City Smart Card Trial in Perspective: A Research Note

Posted: 1 May 2001

See all articles by Leo Van Hove

Leo Van Hove

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)


On December 31st the high-profile test of stored-value cards in Manhattan's Upper West Side, the most important U.S. pilot to date, drew to a close after a 15-month run. The results were disappointing. This paper describes the organization of the trial, analyzes the results, and rounds up possible explanations for the low consumer and merchant acceptance. An attempt is made to integrate these explanations in a coherent theoretical framework.

Keywords: electronic purses, innovation diffusion, network externalities, stored value cards, technology adoption

JEL Classification: E41, L1

Suggested Citation

Van Hove, Leo, The New York City Smart Card Trial in Perspective: A Research Note. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Vol. 5, No. 2, Winter 2000-2001. Available at SSRN:

Leo Van Hove (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( email )

Department of Applied Economics (APEC)
Pleinlaan 5
Brussels, B-1050
+32 2 614 84 49 (Phone)


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