MarketsandMarkets is forecasting modest growth in its latest report on the smart card market. The report specifically predicts that the market will climb from $13.9 billion in 2021 to $16.9 billion in 2026, with a CAGR of 4.0 percent.
The firm attributed that anticipated growth to the rising demand for contactless payment cards, which accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The cards allow people to pay for goods and services without needing to touch a physical payment terminal, and are therefore more sanitary than traditional solutions that rely on PIN codes for security.
The same factors are expected to create more demand for contactless cards in other sectors, including healthcare, transportation, and access control. Modern smart cards use RFID or NFC technologies to communicate with other devices, facilitating a number of different applications that range from social distancing to secure identity verification.
With that in mind, MarketsandMarkets believes that the contactless segment will make up the largest portion of the smart card market during the forecast period. The technology will be especially popular in the telecommunications vertical, which accounted for 42 percent of the smart card market in 2020. Telecommunications companies use subscriber identity module (SIM) cards in mobile phones to confirm the identities of people accessing a mobile network.
Geographically speaking, the Asia Pacific region is expected to be the largest market for smart card technology throughout the prediction window. The demand speaks to the region’s massive population, and to the deployment of contactless cards in various government and financial services initiatives.
MarketsandMarkets identified Thales, IDEMIA, HID Global, and Watchdata as some of the biggest players in the smart card space. The firm previously predicted that biometric smart cards would be integral to a $65 billion biometric systems market. However, its $16.9 billion figure is well below that of Adroit, which has reported that the smart card market will reach $32.65 billion by 2025.