European Region Card Market Valued at $5.65 Billion in 2020

By Jennifer Kohlhepp, Managing Editor, ICMA

The European region of the global card industry manufactured 4.8 billion cards in 2020, a 20.3% decrease in unit volume from the prior year as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This region’s revenue from cards manufactured decreased 10.7% from the prior year to $3.9 billion.

 

The European region personalized and fulfilled 4.1 billion cards in 2020, a 19% decrease in unit volume from the prior year. Personalization and fulfillment revenue dropped 13.2% to $1.75 billion.

 

“Europe will experience growth recovery in the financial, gift, government/health, transportation and access control card markets as they also are confronted with reshaping markets with new innovations and technology,” said Al Vrancart, ICMA founder emeritus and industry advisor.

The number of traditional (magnetic/barcode/other) cards manufactured in Europe decreased 29.4% to 1.6 billion. The number of chip cards manufactured in this region decreased 14.7% to 3.2 billion. Smart card revenue decreased by 25.7% to $3.7 billion.

In 2020, the number of financial cards in this region decreased 9.5% to 715 million. This market segment’s revenue decreased 7.3% to $510 million.

 

The number of access control cards decreased 38.2% to 68 million and the number of transportation cards decreased 39.4% to 500 million. Access control card revenue totaled $51 million, a 37.8% decrease from the prior year, and transportation card revenue fell 39.2% to $73 million.

The number of loyalty promotional cards decreased 33.3% to 60 million and the number of ID membership cards fell 29.8% to 33 million. Loyalty promotional card revenue was down 33.3% from the prior year to $18 million and ID membership card revenue dropped 30% to $21 million.

Europe produced 375 million gift cards, which is 27.2% less than it did in 2019. Gift card revenue fell 27.6% to $84 million.

The number of retail and gas cards decreased 14.1% to 395 million and the amount of revenue these cards generated decreased 13.1% to $245 million.

The number of SIM cards decreased 10% from the prior year to 765 million. This market segment’s revenue amounted to $239 million, which is 9.8% less than it was in 2019.

The number of government and health cards decreased 6.3% to 675 million units and their revenue decreased 2.9% from the prior year to $435 million.

Europe has the second largest share (23.5%) of the global card industry, having manufactured $3.9 billion worth of cards and personalized and fulfilled $1.75 billion worth of cards in 2020. The Asia Pacific region has the largest (41%) share, having manufactured $7.5 billion worth of cards and personalized and fulfilled $2.4 billion worth of cards in 2020.

The information in this article was compiled from Vrancart’s April 2021 European Card Industry Statistics and Market Trends webcast, which is available to ICMA members by logging in to the members-only section of ICMA.com.

Call-Out Box: ICMA members can download the complete Global Card Market and Personalization & Fulfillment Reports in the members-only section of ICMA.com for free. Non-members can purchase the reports by emailing info@icma.com.

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