Annual Latin America Smart Card Shipments to Achieve the 1 Billion Unit Landmark in 2015

26 Sep 2013

ABI Research forecasts that total smart card shipments within the Latin America’s region will increase from 752 million in 2013 to 1.15 billion in 2018. Latin America’s smart card market is rising from the ranks of an emerging region to one where large scale deployments are now being realized. This is particularly true within the government ID and payment cards market, where EMV is really beginning to take hold in the region and the government ID market is being driven by high end national ID card deployments and continual migration to e-passports.

Brazil and Mexico are the two stand-out countries in terms of shipment volumes driven by SIM deployments; Brazil’s dual interface national ID card, alongside EMV and e-passport migration in both Brazil and Mexico. Brazil has experienced a bust in smart card adoption, compelled by its hosting of the 2014 FIFA World cup and 2016 Olympic Games. All eyes are on Brazil to deliver and the government has reacted by making improvements to security around access control, payment acceptance capabilities, and surrounding infrastructure having a direct knock-on effect on increased smart card adoption.

Although Brazil and Mexico are leading the way it is important not to forget the activities of other smaller countries in the region. Panama, Paraguay, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Chile all have smart national ID cards in deployment. Venezuela is considered the leader in terms of EMV migration and Columbia’s migration process continues to progress well. EMV migration is up for consideration in all other countries within the region. Within the next two years ABI Research is tipping Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador to become the next wave of countries that will begin significant EMV card deployments.

The region is beginning to see a shift in the type of solutions deployed. Although Latin America primarily remains cost sensitive, we are beginning to see interest in higher end solutions. Brazil’s dual interface national ID card is testament to this trend and ABI Research predicts the market will increasingly realize the benefits higher end security, functionality and added value can present.

Part of ABI Research’s “Smart Cards in Latin America” report, these findings are from the Government & Healthcare ID Technologies, Payment and Banking Cards & Contactless Technologies, SIM Cards, and Transportation Ticketing Technologies Research Services.

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