Global Report: 75% of Financial Cards Have Chip

2018 Outlook Forecasts Increased Card Production, Lower Dollar Growth  2018 Outlook Forecasts Increased Card Production, Lower Dollar Growth

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., Jan. 16, 2018 — Three quarters of all financial cards now have a chip, according to the International Card Manufacturers Association’s (ICMA) release today of its 2017 Global Card Market and Personalization and Fulfillment Statistics Reports.

Chip cards represented 88.3 percent of revenue for cards globally manufactured in 2017, according to the new research report from ICMA, a global trade association for card manufacturers, personalizers, issuers and suppliers.
ICMA’s comprehensive reports show the card industry produced $26.8 billion total revenue in 2017, equal to the production of 36.1 billion cards. The reports are a source of valuable card industry data generated from primary and secondary research, as well as statistical modeling created by Al Vrancart, ICMA founder emeritus and industry advisor.

“The global card industry continues to provide growth opportunities in several geographic regional and vertical markets,” Vrancart said. “Geographically, there is growth in the Asia Pacific region and North America while there is vertical growth in financial and SIM card production. The outlook for 2018 and beyond is for buoyant card units, but lower dollar growth as chip costs continue to decline.”

The reports showed 2 percent global card unit growth to 36.1 billion cards manufactured with $18.94 billion in revenues. In addition, there was $7.85 billion worth of personalization and fulfillment services for a card industry total of $26.8 in revenue in 2017.

The reports examined five regional markets: North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Within these regions, the reports analyzed card units manufactured in 12 vertical market segments:  Prepaid Phone, SIM Mobile Phone, Financial, Gift, Government/Health, Retail and Gas, Transportation, Loyalty and Promotional, ID and Membership, Access Control, Blanks and Other.

Highlights from the card market reports included:

  • Asia Pacific is No. 1 with 15.05 billion cards produced with 6.3 percent unit growth and $8.78 billion revenue with 4.1 percent dollar decline during the prior year as a result of declining chip prices.
  • North America is No. 2 in units with 9.29 billion cards manufactured, which is flat compared to prior year and No. 3 in dollars at $3.35 billion with 3.5 percent decline driven by vigorous competition and falling chip prices.
  • Europe ranks No. 2 in dollars at $4.37 billion and No. 3 in units at 6 billion cards with decline of 5.3 percent in dollars and an increase of 2.4 percent in units.
  • Financial cards make up the largest unit market and second-largest dollar market at 5.69 billion cards and $4.67 billion.
  • SIM cards make up the largest dollar market at $5.43 billion and the second largest unit market at 5.5 billion cards.
  • Government health cards are the third largest dollar market at $3.67 billion and fifth in units at 3.5 billion cards.
  • The global personalization and fulfillment market processed 30.2 billion cards for $7.85 billion.

The global card manufacturing market is valued at $18.94 billion and the personalization and fulfillment services market is valued at $7.85 billion, making the overall global card industry a $26.8 billion market.

The full reports are available to ICMA members on the ICMA website via ICMA.com. Non-members may purchase either report for $995 USD or $1,500 USD for both. ICMA membership information can be found on the ICMA website or by calling 609-799-4900.


About ICMAFor nearly 30 years, ICMA has been a nonprofit association of card manufacturers, personalizers, suppliers and related industry participants. With more than 200 members globally, ICMA acts as a resource for industry issues, including the production, technology, application, security and environmental issues of cards. More information is available at ICMA.com.