Contactless smart card industry set for takeoff

Freedom of form and an increased demand for e-passports will see the Asia Pacific contactless smart card industry boom over the next six years, accoridng to one analyst firm.

New market research from Frost & Sullivan predicts the number of unit shipments to peak from 2012 to 2016, with 20 to 25 per cent growth expected year on year.

Research analyst Reuben Foong said the demand will result in more commercial projects in the industry.

"A small number of commercial projects have already begun and more than 200 pilot projects already completed across the globe. In Asia Pacific, we can expect large-scale mobile near field communication deployments in the next one to two years," he said.

With the smart card market last year worth an estimated $US775 million, contactless cards still made up 23 per cent of the 2009 total card shipment.

Foong said this demand will only increase with governments increasingly looking at introducing e-passports.

"Government ID projects are by far the largest user of contactless cards, and will likely remain so for the next five years as more nations migrate to the contactless interface. We also have to bear in mind that e-passports have to be renewed, typically, every five to ten years," he said.

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