Global demand for smartcard products and services is forecasted to increase 11% per year through 2006 to US$ 8 billion, with smartcard issuance doubling to 4 billion, according to the Freedonia Group.
Demand will grow as the world's bank (debit/credit) card population migrates to chip cards - a solution that issuers and sponsors hope will reduce fraud associated with magnetic stripe cards. Facilitating this process will be the ongoing implementation of interoperability standards for smart payment cards based on EMV (Europay-MasterCard-Visa) specifications introduced in 1998.
Use of memory-only payphone cards, already well established in countries such as China, Mexico and Venezuela, as well as Western Europe, are expected to increase in other countries as is that for multifunction smartcards that perform more than one dedicated task, enabling continued improvements in multi-application development tools.
China currently has the fastest growing smartcard market, surpassing France and Germany in 2000 to become the world's largest issuer. Along with China and other Asian countries (including Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan), the fastest annual increases in smartcard issuance will occur in countries that were not major users of the technology, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Eastern Europe nations and developing countries.
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