Smart Cards Boost Global Card Market

The value of the global plastic card market grew 27.1% in 2003 from the previous year, almost entirely as a result of growth in chip card sales, according to the annual survey by the Princeton Junction, NJ-based International Card Manufacturers Association. The value of chip cards shipped in 2003 increased to $4.8 billion from $3.56 billion, accounting for nearly all of the revenue growth. Units grew 9.3% to 11.7 billion, ICMA says. While chip cards represented only 21.3% of the units they accounted for 78.7% of revenue. Chip card units grew 6.3% to 1.9 billion, according to the survey orth America was the leading region in terms of units, but fourth in dollar volume, due to the slow take-up of smart cards by banks in the region.