China and Adoption of Contactless Boosts Smart/EMV Payment Card Shipments to 1.67 Billion, Up 27% in 2013

04 Aug 2014

EMV/smart payment card volumes reached shipment levels totaling 1.67 billion in 2013, an increase of 27% when compared to 2012. This exceptional growth was primarily driven by the “China effect” as it continues to migrate to its PBOC standard. Additional growth will come from EMV migration in the United States and increased contactless adoption in Europe. Moving forward ABI Research expects a doubling of worldwide shipments, with 3.3 billion forecast in 2019.

In 2013, 442 million smart payment cards with the PBOC specification shipped into China. Of that total, 56% were contactless, with the remainder primarily made up of contact-based payment/social security cards. If we discount China, worldwide YoY growth would have been just 8.5% between 2012 and 2013, which highlights the effect this single country is having on the overall worldwide picture.

With exceptional growth last year, many might expect the market to settle down; however, this is not the case. Ample opportunity still resides, and EMV migration projects on the horizon will add further growth to the smart payment cards market right through to 2019. Vendors such as NXP, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, Gemalto, Morpho, Oberthur Technologies, and G&D will be looking ahead to the next wave of opportunities to maintain individual growth momentum. In fact, double-digit YoY growth is forecast through to 2017 and these vendors will want to position themselves and anticipate those regions which will provide the greatest returns.

Senior analyst Phil Sealy comments, “Migration in the United States has been long anticipated. It has arguably been a slow road to realization, but EMV card issuance is now likely to begin in 2H 2014, off the back of tenders and orders placed in 1H 2014. With over 1 billion payment cards in circulation the ‘China effect’ could well be replicated within the United States. Moving forward Indonesia will likely provide another growth trigger and other large countries such as India will add further growth with current expectations that it will begin large scale migration in 2016.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Payment and Banking Cards & Contactless Technologies Market Research which comprises of data points across all major regions and 28 individual countries with smart/EMV and mag-stripe data splits across ATM only, credit, debit and open loop pre-paid cards.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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