RevolutionCard is unlikely to gain mass scale in the near future because the upstart credit card brand must overcome multiple hurdles, including gaining mass merchant and consumer acceptance, note industry observers. The challenge for fledgling network brands is moving beyond major merchants to smaller merchants. "Mass acceptance is a huge task," says Ken Paterson, director of credit advisory service with Maynard, Mass.-based Mercator Advisory Group. Indeed, gaining widespread merchant acceptance is one of the biggest hurdles, agrees Jim Avondent, senior vice president of sales at EZ Cash Capital, a Garden City, N.Y.-based provider of financial services for businesses. Another difficult task for start-up payment systems is mass issuance to consumers, Paterson says. "It's easier to sign up merchants than to get cards in consumers' hands," he says. RevolutionCard estimates it will reach 1 million merchants and 1 million cardholders by year-end, according to a RevolutionCard spokesperson. More than 150,000 merchant locations accept the card, says the spokesperson, who would not say how many cards the company has issued.