Worldwide shipments of smart cards to the government and healthcare sectors is set to grow by 56% this year, according to figures released by Eurosmart.
The smart card industry association says that in 2006, 250 million memory cards (including 200 million for the Chinese ID programme) and 90 million microprocessor cards were delivered to this sector. The association adds that it estimates that in 2007 the sector will take delivery of 350 million memory cards (including 300 million for the Chinese ID scheme) and a further 140 million microprocessor cards, representing a growth of 56%.
This massive growth will help increase output for the industry as a whole during 2007, with Eurosmart estimating that overall shipments will grow by 20%.
It says: “ Key factors driving the government and healthcare markets in 2006 were the deployments of ePassports to many countries during the year as well as the shipment of 200 million Chinese ID cards.”
It predicts that 2007 will be driven by ePassport deployments in 40 countries, including all visa waiver countries, and growing eID projects in countries such as Portugal, Qatar, Morocco, Belgium, Thailand, Hong Kong, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Oman. It expects more than 300 million ID cards to be shipped to China in 2007, with a target of 900 million deployed before the 2008 Olympic Games. It predicts that the ramping up of second-generation e-health cards in France and Germany will also drive the market.