By TECHNOLOGY TIMES Staff
Lagos. June 19, 2013: The e-Government programme underway in Nigeria like several countries across the world under which governments plan to drive public services using technology will be a key drive of the global smart card business, according to a new forecast on the global smart card business trends.
A new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Global Smart Card Forecaster – Core Industry Shipment/ Revenue Outlook projects that governments worldwide are persisting with the digitalisation of public services including Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia and Turkey are, or will soon be, implementing either e-ID, e-Health or multi-purpose card programmes.
The report says that smart card vendors continue to move from provisioning of physical cards to the delivery of smart card-related software and services. The commoditisation of physical smart cards and the progressive digitalisation of services have forced smart card vendors to re-think their strategies and focus on the services side of their business.
The survey finds that the smart card market covering SIM, banking, government and transportation verticals across Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and North America, earned approximately $6,907.2 million in 2012.
The market revenue is estimated to reach $9,551.6 million in 2018. Unit shipments are anticipated to expand from 7,119.8 million to 10,906.8 million units over the same time period.
The hitherto dominant SIM card market is approaching maturity. With both unit shipment and revenue growth rates expected to be slow, focusing on the high-end SIM cards segment can protect smart card vendors from intense price competition of the mid-range and low-end SIM card segments in the short-term, the report says.
However, price competition will, at some point, affect the high-end segments as well.
“It is advisable, therefore, for smart card vendors to evaluate providing SIM-related services and solutions in the field of mobile payments and device management,” Jean-Noël Georges, Frost & Sullivan’s ICT Global Programme Director says.
According to him, “smart card vendors should also consider engaging in M&A activity to build economies of scale, and thus, withstand the slow growth of the SIM card market and its decreasing revenue potential.”
Embedded SIMs for mobile communications could start being commercialised within the forecast period. The shift from physical SIM cards to embedded SIMs will be largely driven by smartphone manufacturers.
“The move to embedded SIM cards poses a challenge for smart card vendors as the traditional value chain will be altered,” cautioned Georges. “Vendors need to work closely with smartphone manufacturers and semiconductor vendors to gain a better understanding of consumers needs and develop software and services accordingly.”
The report notes that migration to the EMV standard in emerging countries and the United States will sustain overall market growth. Card issuers in the Americas and Asia-Pacific continue the shift from magnetic stripe cards to chip cards. China and the United States are expected to boost smart card shipments in the banking and payment vertical.
“e-ID and e-Health cards will be the segments within the smart card government and ID market that will grow rapidly over the forecast period,” concluded Georges. “Partnerships with registration and data centralisation service providers could be valuable to winning tenders.”