Contactless payment card shipments are shipping at the fastest rate since the technology was first introduced, the Smart Payment Association announced at the Cartes North America conference.
More than 975 million cards were shipped in 2012, with the largest climb in the Asia Pacific region. China’s migration to chip-based payment cards influenced the region’s 24% growth rate. Europe returned an 8% growth rate, but the major trend in this mature market was the move to contactless. Contactless card shipments in North America increased by 1% with Canada representing most of that increase, as the U.S. continues the transition to EMV into 2014.
Overall, contactless card represented 23% of all smart payment cards shipped in 2012. Shipments of dual interface cards, incorporating both chip and PIN and contactless technologies, are now are growing at 77% year on year.
The data was collected by the Smart Payment Association – whose six members represent more than 85% of the total available market – also confirmed a 9% growth in the total number of smart payment cards shipped in 2012.
The increase in contactless shipments points to an eventual move to mobile and near field communication, says Brian Russell, Smart Payment Association representative and senior vice president for payment and transit at Giesecke & Devrient. “It’s a natural step, moving from contact to contactless to mobile,” he explains.