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On the way to 6 billion cards

Week 49, 2010

Of course, everyone in the industry knows these 6,020 million cards to be delivered in 2011, will not be evenly spread. The strength of our industry is to be able to deploy product offers and strategies adapted to each market segment.

As a sign of times, Eurosmart has decided to stop communication memory card figures and to concentrate on microprocessor cards. The industry recognizes an 18% volume growth between 2009 and 2010, and anticipates a 13% volume growth next year, to reach the magical 6,020 million cards target. Interestingly, contactless microprocessor cards are showing a much faster growth (+40% 2009 to 2010 and +28% 2010 to 2011), demonstrating a global evolution of the industry, in the payment, transport and government segments.

However, even if these figures are positive, and many good news show a permanently renewed interest in our industry, Michael Kuemmerle, head of the Cards and Services business unit at Giesecke & Devrient, stressed the fact that the industry results in sales are not as good as Eurosmart wants to show them. According to him, the ASP (Average Selling Price) fall offsetted most of the growth in volume, leading to approximately flat results.

The whole industry is considering a large part of its growth is to come from emerging markets, for instance, MasterCard gained 300 million new customers since the beginning of the global crisis. Also, keeping in mind only less than 50% of the world population is banked, and only 25% of the world population is online, the preferred means of internet access and transaction in emerging markets is the mobile handset. Our industry has to speed up in providing the right level of security and convenience for access and payment to these demanding users. We all hope 2011 will be the take off year for NFC, and other means of secure transactions.

Thierry Spanjaard
Chief Editor
Smart Insights