Smart Government ID Credentials Set for 11% Growth in 2021, Despite Looming Chipset Shortage

08 Dec 2021

According to global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, the worldwide shipments of smart Government ID credentials is set to rise from 500.1 million in 2020 to 554 million in 2021, with the chipset shortage taking hold in 2022. While the passport market will take a few years to recover to pre-COVID levels, likely not until 2024, the overall market will see an upturn after the woes of 2020, though the Government ID market will not see as strong an impact from the chipset shortage as other smart card markets, such as payment and banking cards.  

“The National ID and Passport markets will see small increases from the shortfall seen in 2020,” said Sam Gazeley, Digital Security Analyst at ABI Research. “While many countries are still in various states of travel restrictions, rising vaccination rates are tentatively opening borders, and this has injected some impetus back into the Government ID market. Projects that have been postponed from last year or seen issuance levels vastly reduced have begun to spin-up, contributing to the year-on-year growth forecast to take place in 2021.”

Smart National ID issuance is forecast to increase by 12.1% YoY from 2020 to 2021, landing at 318.4 million units. With enrollment and personalization centers able to open and increase capacity as some countries relax social distancing advice, churn rates for credentials have seen an uptick as governments start to tackle the backlog of credential requests.

E-passport shipments are forecast to experience an increase YoY of 7.5% from 2020 to 2021 landing at 105.4 million units. While this is a good indicator that some citizens are looking to renew their passports, issuance levels are not anticipated to return to pre-COVID levels, which stood at more than 167 million units, until 2024.

For 2021 and 2022, all eyes are being firmly placed on the chipset shortage and potential impact and disruption it could cause to the government ID smart card vertical. However, expectations for the government ID market remain very positive as ecosystem players, including NXP, Infineon, and ST Micro look to prioritize supply to the government ID market, reinforced by governments, many of which consider low supply of citizen credentials a national security issue.

Concerns over COVID and the chipset shortage have placed further emphasis on mobile identities, which can tick the boxes of providing a contactless experience, while also offering a virtual identity alternative as a secondary identity avenue, should chip supply issues become a major market issue. To date, there are an array of mobile identity projects at varying stages of issuance, including the Philippines, Germany, China, and Argentina. Most of the mobile identity success has remained with national ID and driver license applications as, despite a number of solutions existing to expedite the journey through a terminal and speed up boarding, an independent, mobile passport or an ICAO approved mobile solution has yet to defined/standardized. “It is worth noting that with the current interest in COVID-19 vaccine passports, the speed of border openings to international travel will depend, in some instances, on travelers having a vaccine passport. Such a digital credential would be the first instance of a mobile or digital identity playing a role in the realm of international travel and will serve as an aggregator toward mobile passports, especially with developments in standardization from governing bodies, such as the ICAO,” Gazeley concludes.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Government and Healthcare ID Cards market update report. This report is part of the company’s Digital Security research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights. Depicted in a PowerPoint format, the Market Update provides a snapshot into current and future market opportunities and threats for a specific technology as well as focusing on a selected key market and associated trends.



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