The global shipment of smart cards exceeded five billion in 2008 and is expected to grow nearly 11% a year through 2012, according to the latest report from London-based Companiesandmarkets.com. Use of contactless smart cards has also gained and is forecasted to grow at more than 30% through 2012.
The report, Smart Card Market Forecast to 2012, notes that the number of smart card application projects has also been rising, demonstrating the versatility of the technology. Primary drivers for this projected growth are growing security needs, multiple card usage and greater storage and processing capability.
The telecom sector is the biggest application market for smart cards, occupying more than 70% of the global smart card shipment in 2008, says the report. Growing number of mobile subscribers remain the largest contributor, driving sales of SIM cards worldwide. The rush towards EMV compliance has buoyed the use of smart cards in the financial services sector.