Smart Payment Card Shipments Up 34 Percent

The shift to EMV in the U.S. is soaring the global demand for smart payment cards by as much as 34 percent, a new Smart Payment Association (SPA) report has found.

Last year alone, over 2.06 billion chip cards were supplied — of which, 570 million were shipped to the U.S., marking a twofold increase over 2014. China emerged as yet another major force causing the surge with a 27 percent increase in demand over last year.

“These figures demonstrate how EMV is now a truly global, established, secure and interoperable infrastructure. SPA reported the first billion of smart payment card shipments in 2011, and it took the industry only four years to deliver the second billion,” said Andreas Strobel, president of the SPA.

“Crucially, the data also reveals how fast the adoption of EMV-standard technology in the United States took off in a significant way in 2015, as issuers proceeded at full speed with the implementation of EMV migration,” Strobel added.

In markets where EMV technology already has a stronger foothold, improvement in adoption of chip-based contactless payment cards was found to be fueling the spike in demand. Excluding the Americas, 56 percent of the global production of chip-based cards featured contactless technology last year.

The spike in demand for contactless cards marks a 24 percent increase from 2014 — much of which came from Asia and Europe. According to SPA, 53 percent of cards shipped to Europe were contactless, whereas 74 percent of cards shipped to Asia-Pacific sported contactless technology.

“Consumer demand for faster and more convenient ways to pay proved the driving force behind a further steep growth in contactless shipments in Europe and Asia. With EMV adoption powering ahead in the U.S., issuers are in a unique position to make the jump directly from ‘swipe-and-sign’ to ‘tap-and-go’ to everyone’s benefit — customers, merchants and them as well,” Strobel said.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

Click to comment