Austin, Texas-based IMS Research reports that there will be more smart cards than people by the end of next year.
By the end of 2009 the IMS projects that smart cards will have passed 7 billion, a level the global population won’t reach until 2011. IMS predicts that 10 billion smart cards are less than five years away. Smart cards are also being used in different applications and more area of the world than ever before.
The most common way consumers have smart cards are the SIM chips in their wireless phone. “Not all handsets require them, but an estimated 2.7 billion did at the end of last year,” stated Alex Green, the author of IMS Research’s annual Smart Card and Semiconductors in Smart Cards report.
The other two active sectors including banking and government/health, both of which are expected to pass 1 billion cards issued this year. “Both are forecast to continue growing significantly, as banks look to improve security and reduce fraud and as governments roll out large national infrastructure projects that utilize smart cards. Typical examples of the latter are biometric passports, driver’s licenses, national I.D. card schemes and healthcare applications,” continued Green.