Generating year-on-year growth of nearly 4 percent, Smart Payment Association (SPA) data indicates that 2.3 billion payment chip cards were shipped worldwide in 2017. While shipment volumes in China and the United States “continue to normalize,” contactless payment cards are more than 70 percent of shipments in "a growing number of territories," the association said in an announcement.
SPA President Julien Drouet said in the announcement, “The continued acceleration of contactless card shipments is being [fueled] by a strong consumer appetite for convenient ways to conduct small transactions across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, supported by the wider deployment of contactless POS terminals and by [schemes’] mandates.”
In terms of geographies, India saw “sustained growth” in card shipments as a transition to EMV takes place. In addition, demand in South Asia “continued to surge ahead." In Indonesia, for example, year-on-year shipment volumes “more than doubled.”
The news comes as the shift to EMV in the U.S. had soared the global demand for smart payment cards by as much as 34 percent, an SPA report found in 2016. In 2015 alone, over 2 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 from the prior 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,” according to an SPA official at the time. “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.”
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 in 2015.