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Improved Security is Key Feature Egging Banks and Vendors Towards Smart Cards, reports TMR

Posted on Jan 20, 2016

Leading providers of smart cards technologies and solutions have developed strategies focused on contact, contactless, and dual-interface services, reports Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new study. The four leading players in this space – Gemalto NV, Infineon Technologies AG, NXP Semiconductors NV, and Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) GmbH – collectively hold major shares in all the keyregions relevant to the use of smart cards and smart card terminals.

According to TMR, the smart cards market is highly competitive and has been consistently dominated by the above four players. However, companies are currently vying to maintain modern standards and implement smart card-based services and software as a part of their core business strategies.

On the other side of the growth spectrum are new entrants such as Watchdata and Eastcompeace Technology Co., Ltd. that are improving stiff competition by introducing innovative solutions designed to fit the way users want to conduct transactions today.

Improved Security Emerges as Most Wanted Smart Card Feature in BFSI and Retail Industry

Conventional magnetic strip smart cards are currently extremely vulnerable to data theft threats due to the absence of proper encryption codes between the hacker and a user’s personal financial data. This is easily negated by smart cards, where the EMV chip-on-chip feature adds a high level of security to the user’s data.

Additionally, the advent of NFC, IoT, net banking, and ecommerce have all contributed to the growing preference of smart cards across the world. The use of NFC and IoT is contributing vastly to the more efficient implementation of smart cards, while the booming ecommerce industry is making it imperative for banks to employ stronger security measures against data theft.

EMV chips are rapidly becoming the global standard for user financial access and transactions. They offer a safer way for users to perform all transactions in the modern scenario of possible threats to data and the protective measures that can be taken.

High Adoption Cost Continues to Make Vendors Hesitate from Smart Card Tech

“A large percentage of consumers still use magnetic strip cards for their daily transactions,” states a TMR analyst. “The U.S., for instance, had delayed their nationwide adoption of EMV smart cards, allowing a longer window of time for hackers and fraudsters to gain access to all the information stored in a user’s magnetic strip card.” Currently, about 130 countries are officially implementing the use of smart cards and replacing magnetic strip cards.

The problem that applies especially to traders and banks in developing nations is the high implementation cost associated with smart card technologies. From the perspective of traders and vendors, the high initial cost of installing EMV terminals is not worth it until they receive a confirmation from major banks over the use of smart cards on a large scale. Until then, they will stick to magnetic strip card terminals. At the same time, banks were pushing the responsibility on to the vendors, claiming that they cannot distribute smart cards until there are enough terminals for users.

Most of these complications are being addressed currently, such as shifting the liability of adoption from banks to vendors and lowering the cost of terminals and cards through government incentives and using efficient production means. However, nations from Asia Pacific and Latin America still have large percentages of consumers using magnetic strip cards, still maintaining the risk of theft at a high level.

Contact Smart Cards Will Retain Leading Market Revenue Share

The global smart cards revenue generation is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.4% within a forecast period from 2016 to 2023. This market is expected to be valued at US$8.5 bn by the end of 2016 and US$14.1 bn by the end of 2023.

Contactless smart cards are expected to expand at a CAGR of 11.5% from 2016 to 2023 in terms of revenue. They form the fastest-growing segment in terms of type. Contact smart cards will still manage to be the top grossing segment for the same forecast period, and is expected to reach US$7.7 bn by 2023.

The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, “Smart Cards Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 - 2023.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Asia Pacific smart cards players expected to generate US$6.9 bn by 2023
  • Approx. US$12.5 bn estimated value of microcontroller-based smart cards by 2023, which remains the largest component by volume
  • Contact smart cards to remain largest smart card types, estimated at US$11.9 bn by 2023

Key segments of the Global Smart Cards Market

Global Smart Cards Market, By Type:

  • Contact Smart Cards
  • Contactless Smart Cards
  • Hybrid Smart Cards
  • Dual-interface Smart Cards

Global Smart Cards Market Analysis, By Component:

  • Microcontroller Based Smart Cards
  • Memory Card-based Smart Cards

Global Smart Cards Market, By Geography:

  • North America
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • The Middle East and Africa

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