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Our industry to concentrate?

Week 46, 2012

One of the major announcements of last week Cartes trade show in the secure transactions microcosm was that Morpho was acquiring ABnote activities in Europe, thus expanding its positioning in the value chain with more personalization centers (cf. Focus section).


The current situation with four European and two Chinese leading smart card manufacturers may not be stable for long. We can witness most of these Tier 1 players have already got a strong geographical presence with offices located all around the world, and are proposing their products in all (or almost all) market segments. Now they are expanding along the value chain, by acquiring missing pieces or reinforcing some activities, such as TSM operations (Gemalto acquired Ericsson IPX, cf. Smart Insights Weekly #12-41, and Morpho acquired Cassis International, cf. SIW #12-37), manufacturing capacities and market presence (Oberthur acquired Cupola, cf. SIW #12-42 and Gemalto acquired Plastkart, cf. SIW #12-27), personalization bureaus (Morpho acquires ABnote Europe), or developers of solutions (Oberthur acquired MoreMagic, cf. SIW #12-10).


Now, analysts may doubt the situation will remain the same. More concentration is under way in our industry, with potentially the richer or the ones with the most aggressive and convincing strategic outlook buying companies facing difficulties in order to acquire marketshare, market presence, and technology development they may lack. At Smart Insights, we are ready to bet Cartes 2013 will not resemble Cartes 2012.


This industry is fascinating, there is always more to discover!


Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights