Chip Card Vendors Turn to New Form Factors to Fuel Future Revenue Opportunities in an Established EMV Market

04 Aug 2016

The Chinese and U.S. EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) payment cards markets are experiencing double-digit year-on-year growth, responsible for more than 50% of 2.8 billion EMV cards shipped worldwide. But as the migration phase for these market regions comes to a close, the industry will soon experience a ripple effect driven by a flattening market in China and a dip in U.S. shipments due to overstocking. ABI Research finds the proliferating negative discussions among industry players to be over exaggerated and suggests vendors focus on new card form factors and emerging regions to drive future growth.

“Smart card and secure IC vendors like Oberthur Technologies, Gemalto, G&D, Infineon, NXP, and STMicroelectronics now wonder how big the U.S. dip will be and its overall impact on worldwide shipments,” says Phil Sealy, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “There remains a real risk that the 2016 dip will extend into 2017 as EMV issuance stabilities, stock levels deplete, and a natural card replacement cycle based on a three-year expiry rate comes into play.”

Vendors are already reporting reductions in U.S. orders, and the CPI Card Group adjusted its 2016 earnings expectations downward. Though unit volume growth will slow, the continued transition toward contactless payment cards with higher associated average selling prices (ASPs) will help boost revenues. And India will be a good, emerging growth market, as it recently sets its own EMV mandate.

But established and saturated regions need to look at new biometric and Dynamic Card Verification Value (dCVV) card technologies to drive future revenue growth. The new form factors capitalize on consumer safety and will gain momentum as the focus turns to enhancing physical to CNP (card-not-present) fraud.

Biometric cards featuring integrated sensors that identify their card holders will provide an additional strong authentication method for physical payments. Display cards with dCVV and/or one-time password (OTP) functionalities will replace the static three-digit card verification code currently located on the rear of debit and credit cards with a small display screen that changes the card holder’s unique card verification code every few minutes.

“The new card models will open up the next wave of revenue growth opportunity within the payment cards market for secure IC and smart card vendors alike,” concludes Sealy. “Those that already invested in these technologies are well positioned to maximize this next generation opportunity.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Payment & Banking Card Technologies and Payment & Banking Card Secure IC Technologies. This report is part of the company’s Digital Security sector, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

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