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  • Thierry Spanjaard

Smart cards have won … for now


ICMA, the International Card Manufacturers Association, a global trade association for card manufacturers, personalizers, issuers and suppliers, just published its 2018 statistics for the card market demonstrating that chip cards represented 88.5% of revenue for all cards globally manufactured in 2018.

According to this report, 36.8 billion cards have been manufactured in 2018 leading to US$ 18.13 billion (EUR 15.87 billion) in revenues, a decrease of 4.2% of revenue over the prior year. This gives a global ASP (Average Selling Price) for the industry of US$ 0.49 (EUR 0.43) . In addition, there was US$ 8.17 billion (EUR 7.15 billion) worth of personalization and fulfillment services for a card industry total of US$ 26.3 billion (EUR 23.0 billion) in revenue in 2018.

The information given by ICMA allows us to draw some conclusions:

The report adds that the global personalization and fulfillment market processed 30.6 billion cards for US$ 8.17 billion (EUR 7.15 billion), which means a US$ 0.27 (EUR 0.24) personalization and fulfillment cost per unit.

The ICMA welcomes the fact that smart card are more and more adopted by government agencies and healthcare organizations, leading to a 10% volume growth in 2018 in these segments. However, Al Vrancart, the organization founder emeritus and industry advisor, already anticipates a lower dollar growth for 2019 as chip costs continue to decline.

The report is available to ICMA members and can be purchased by non-members.

In a time where dematerialization represents a durable trend across all smart card market segments, one may wonder if the growth reported by ICMA is actually sustainable.


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