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Cartes Branch?

Wednesday, 01 November 2006

Amongst the flurry of product announcements which always accompanies the Cartes exhibition there were some interesting items which caught the eye.  Savantor have talked about the potential of branch issued cards for several years and this year there was clear evidence of product availability which should start to interest banks looking for innovative solutions.  These systems can offer e.g. instant card issuance to new account holders or to speed up the replacement of lost and stolen cards and can clearly provide a value add service to customers. 

Also of interest was the latest prediction from Eurosmart that Smart card vendors will ship just under 3 billion SIM, banking, ID and other microprocessor smart cards in 2007, up 20% from 2006. The organisation predicts:

  • shipments of SIM cards will grow by 19% next year to more than 2.1 billion. most of the growth in SIM shipments will continue to come from developing markets, such as China and India
  • smart cards will reach 480 million units worldwide, mostly EMV credit and debit smart cards.  This will take into account the start of renewals for the EMV cards UK banks began to issue about three years ago. Some of these renewed chip cards will carry dynamic data authentication. This will allow the UK issuers to approve more transactions offline, at the point-of-sale terminal. More substantial renewals will occur in 2008 French banks also will continue shipping DDA smart cards, which they began to issue this year
  • The fastest growth will come in ID and security cards and documents, including health cards and e-passports, which will jump for a second year in a row by at least 50%.  Eurosmart predicts the Chinese government will issue 250 million national ID cards next year, compared with 150 million such cards rolled out during 2006
  • About 20 million contactless cards will be sold next year, mainly in the United States. That's double the number of contactless cards vendors will sell to U.S. banks and credit card companies this year. While that's progress, it's also disappointing for vendors, who had expected a larger percentage of the many hundreds of millions of magnetic-stripe payment cards U.S. banks and credit card companies issue each year to go contactless next year.
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