Even if many of us are busy with new technology developments and market research on new opportunities, the smart card remains the bread and butter of our industry.
Eurosmart, the association of the major players in the secure transactions industry, or the “Voice of the Smart Security Industry,” as the association calls itself, publishes its market evaluation and forecasts twice a year.
The spring issue gives 2016 results and 2017 forecasts, is covered in detail here. Over years, the association has had to adapt to the evolutions of the market and now talks about billions of secure elements, including all types of form factors from smart cards to embedded secure elements in smartphones, tablets, etc. Eurosmart estimates the industry has shipped 9.61 billion secure elements in 2016.
Eurosmart also points out that contactless secure elements accounted for almost 45% of financial service cards in 2016, and close to 20% of all secure elements.
After years of pushing for the adoption of NFC technology, we are finally meting success with 500 million NFC SIM & embedded secure elements shipped in 2016.
The most important news is that our industry will ship around 10 billion secure elements in 2017, that is 1.3 secure element per human!
At the same time, ICMA, the International Card Manufacturers Association, also publishes its 2016 shipments data. ICMA estimates the industry has shipped 35.4 billion cards in 2016, for a total revenue for the industry of US$ 27.4 billion (EUR 24.6 billion). ICMA also points out that smart cards represented 88.6% of revenue for cards globally manufactured in 2016, while these smart cards account only for 27.1% of the volume of cards shipped.
Each of these smart cards or secure elements is a highly secure device with physical and logical security aboard, cryptographic functions, and is individualized and personalized. The best is that this marvel of technology comes for a fraction of the cost a coffee cup!