The global smart card market was rated at $9,824.0 million in 2020 at $15,568.6 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2021 to 2027. A smart card is a physical card that contains either embedded memory or a microcontroller included in a contact pad. It connects to a reader either through short-range wireless connectivity or through direct physical contact standards such as Near Field Communication (NFC) or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Smart cards use encryption to keep information in memory secure and are generally designed to be tamper-proof. Smart cards with microcontroller chips can perform on-card processing functions and can manipulate data in chip memory.
Smart cards are used in many applications, such as credit cards and other payment cards. These cards are typically used in applications that need to provide secure and fast transactions and protect individual data such as credit cards, various payment cards, government ID and company cards, and charge cards public transport fares. It is also sometimes used as a legal document such as electronic passports and visas. A Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card is also a form of microcontroller-based smart card widely used in mobile phones and other devices.
The global smart card market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Factors such as rapid digitization, increase in cashless transactions and increase in demand from the healthcare industry are driving the development of the smart card market. However, high installation costs and data theft and security issues are a significant obstacle for the global smart card industry. Additionally, a new blockchain-enabled user information security model is expected to create opportunities for the smart card industry. Smart cards can efficiently manage cryptographic keys, enabling secure and efficient transactions in blockchain applications.
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Dynamics of the global smart card market
Drivers: increasing demand for contactless smart cards
Analysis of contactless smart cards shows that contactless transmission has created multiple opportunities globally. These now come in the form of software tokens, UPIs or QR cards, which facilitate contactless and secure money transfers. Many big companies, such as PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, are racing to win globally for money transfers. Over the past 10 years, all banks have replaced commonly used debit and credit cards with microchips, leading to wireless transfer. All the latest tech devices now have built-in chips, which also helps to track packages using storage data. ePassports are the newest addition in terms of innovative contactless card products.
Constraints: High costs of smart card integration
Smart cards have attracted a lot of interest from consumers in recent years, due to their advantages. However, their cost is one of the factors restraining the growth of the smart card market. The initial capital investment needed to implement smart cards for access control and other applications is high. Smart cards need readers to read encryptions and obtain the information needed to provide physical or logical access. Deployment of these readers involves additional purchase costs. The costs of these cards increase with the use of chips with high capacity and offering highly sophisticated functionalities. Therefore, equipping these smart cards is expected to require more up-front investment than conventional cards, which may hamper the growth of the market.
Opportunities: strong demand from the Asia-Pacific region
China is one of the pioneers in introducing contactless payments, which led to the introduction of digital cards. As of November 2019, Alipay, China’s leading payment platform, served over 1.2 billion customers. Chinese ID cards feature an embedded chip and digital encryption. Emerging economies in Asia-Pacific are expected to provide potential opportunities for smart card market growth, owing to the development of a robust financial system that is increasingly digitized and pushed by government agencies to integrate systems based on smart chips for better process monitoring.
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The study categorizes the smart card market based on type, end-user, and regions.
By Type of Outlook (Revenue, 2017-2027, USD Million)
- Without touching
- Dual interface
By End-User Insights (Revenue, 2017-2027, USD Million)
- Health care
Outlook by Region (Revenue, 2017-2027, USD Million)
- North America (United States, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
- The Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, North Africa, Rest of MEA)
Dual Interface, by Type, is estimated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period
By type, the global smart card market is divided into contact, contactless and dual interface. During the forecast period 2021-2027, dual interface is the fastest growing segment with a CAGR of 7.4% and a market revenue share of 22.62% in 2020. In contrast, contactless has the highest revenue share in the market, which is 40.32% in 2020.
Dual interface cards are equipped with contactless and contact interfaces. This type of card allows secure access to the smart card chip with contactless or contact smart card interfaces. Dual interface smart cards find applications in industries such as telecommunications, BFSI, retail marketing, etc. Advances in the semiconductor industry and emphasis on innovation have spurred the already growing popularity of dual-interface smart cards.
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Asia-Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR over the forecast period in the smart card market.
Based on region, the global smart card market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia-Pacific has a growth rate of 7.4% globally during the forecast period. Asia Pacific smart card market is analyzed in Japan, China, India, Australia and Rest of Asia Pacific. The strong economic growth in Asia-Pacific can be attributed to the growing demand for smart card products from rapidly developing countries like China and India.
Based on Type, Asia-Pacific Smart Card Market was valued at USD 3,137.9 Million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 5,170.3 Million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7, 4% from 2021 to 2027. The non-contact segment was the highest. contributor, with USD 1,260.7 million in 2020, and is expected to reach USD 2,124.8 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 7.8%. The dual interface segment is estimated to reach USD 1,212.1 million by 2027 at a CAGR of 8.0%. The non-contact and contact segments collectively accounted for approximately 77.7% share in 2020, with the former constituting approximately 40.0% share. The dual-interface and contactless segments are expected to witness significant CAGRs of 8.0% and 7.8%, respectively, during the forecast period. The combined share of these two segments was 62.4% in 2020 and is expected to reach 64.5% by 2027.
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Main market players
The global smart card market is fragmented into few major players and other local, small and medium manufacturers/suppliers. Some key players are Thales, NXP Semiconductors NV, Giesecke+Devrient GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, IDEMIA, CPI Card Group Inc., Identiv, Inc., Watchdata Technologies, CardLogix Corporation and Alioth LLC. These market players are adopting growth strategies to strengthen their position in the market. Product launches and partnerships are the major growth strategies adopted by the various key market players