Worldwide, the use of convergent smart card programs is one the rise, according to new research from ABI. Convergent smart cards allow businesses or governments to combine a series of different use-types under a single card or device. An increasingly popular application of this technology is the combined government ID-paycard model.
According to API’s research, the use of such cards is forecasted to increase from 569 million last year to 2 billion by 2019, penetrating over a quarter of the total worldwide population. Leading users of duel ID/paycard technology today are China and Malaysia, which collectively hold 95 percent of converged credentials currently in circulation. The remaining 5 percent are tied up in pilot programs in Russia, Brazil and Nigeria.
“All the major smart card vendors, Gemalto, Oberthur Technologies, Morpho, and G&D are gearing up to serve converged markets. These vendors are well positioned, with e-government solutions already in place, a host of specifications and standards from which each can leverage, and online solutions, providing multiple platforms to enable access to converged solutions through multiple channels. Competing in a converged market will likely be a more crowded playing field, requiring multiple partnerships and/or consortiums to bring products to market,” noted ABI senior analyst Phil Sealy. “Those smart card vendors active at the top end of secure credential manufacturers want to be a part of this market trend, strategically positioning themselves now to become future of choice.”