The market for smart cards, secure ICs, inlays, (biometric) data capture, card personalization, printing and issuance in government, healthcare, and citizen ID will reach a cumulative value of $72 billion by 2016, says ABI Research. The largest proportion of revenues will be from the deployment of national ID cards and e-passports.
The employment of higher-value applications, in particular e-passports and smart national ID cards, alongside the increased focus on multi-application credentials, has accelerated the smart card market value. The market is expected to peak in 2014, before settling at a level close to $15 billion.
The greater employment of smart cards is adding further value for vendors as more countries look to migrate from legacy-based solutions to secure smart card-based ones and next generation credentials. Shipments of smart credentials will overtake legacy in 2014. The keys to this shift are several countries: France, Brazil, and Poland are moving to dual interface national ID cards and China has a pending upgrade to a microcontroller national ID.
Research analyst Phil Sealy comments, “Contactless is the new ‘must have’ technology in the ID space. Contactless projects have already shown success, deploying within national ID projects in Germany, Egypt, and most notably, China. The trend to adopt a contactless interface will continue throughout the forecast period. We expect to see strong and continued adoption of dual interface ICs primarily utilized in national ID cards.”
Group director John Devlin adds, “This market has produced some excellent YoY growth over the past few years as vendors add value and increase the appeal of smart card-based solutions. Shipment growth should continue for at least the next four years. The next phase in India’s Aadhaar project could be a real game changer. The project could form the basis for a whole range of services deploying in both an online and offline manner, across both government and commercial sectors.”
[Image: The Dalai Lama enrolls for Aadhar. Courtesy: Unique Identification Authority Of India]