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Smart cards win!

Week 26, 2012

The most striking point in ICMA’s market statistics report is the split between smart card and plastic cards. According to ICMA, 30.5 billion cards have been produced in 2011, 32.1% of which (or just under 10 billion) are smart cards, also called chip cards. By contrast, these chip cards represent US$ 14.9 billion (EUR 11.9 billion) in sales or 87.2% of the total whereas more than 20 billion traditional cards account for only US$ 2.2 billion (EUR 1.76 billion) or just 12.8% of the total in value. These figures also allow us to compute a global ASP (average selling price) for the chip card industry of US$ 1.524 (EUR 1.22), against US$ 0.105 (EUR 0.084) for the traditional card industry.

These figures show how the smart card industry has succeeded in getting its understanding of security recognized on a global level, after years of struggle. In addition the only market segments where the ICMA anticipates growth is in SIM cards and payment cards, where the smart cards bring an undisputed security added value.

Another hint of this recognition is the ongoing EMV migration of the last two major strongholds of payment plastic cards: the USA and China.

Now, after the card industry has shown its ability to evolve from plastic cards manufacturing to secure transactions expertise, the next step is to convert this industrial organization into a service-oriented one with the trend towards dematerialization of security with NFC and eUICCs. We still have some interesting battles ahead of us!

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights