It sounds like the paper cards needs to be activated and added to the system before they could be successfully tapped. Hence the 90 days expiry time. Stores would need a machine and software to physically activate the card and load it onto the system. I can see this happening with any smart card system to prevent fraud. Otherwise people would just clone those presto cards and sell on the black market.
The mom-n-pop stores work fine activating the lottery gift cards. Why not PRESTO?