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Card manufacturers receive less revenue for more cards

The International Card Manufacturers Association's third annual Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey showed a mixed forecast for the industry.The survey found that the global card market, measured ...


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April 1, 2002 by Canadian Plastics

The International Card Manufacturers Association’s third annual Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey showed a mixed forecast for the industry.

The survey found that the global card market, measured in U.S. dollars, decreased 4.5% in 2000, compared with 1999 (down to $4.3 billion from $4.5 billion). Yet, there were 8.8 billion cards manufactured in 2000, an 11.4% increase over 1999.

The reason for these mixed signals, says the ICMA, is the impact of severe price pressures.

Overall, the survey found that continued price pressures will lower the price of units, but also that markets such as financial hologram and non-secure cards will maintain their global growth prospects in the coming year.

The products included in the survey were plastic cards of all thickness, including traditional and without magnetic stripe, and chip cards that include contact, contactless and combi-cards for diverse applications, such as financial hologram cards, ID cards, phone cards, access cards, radio frequency identification (RFID) cards and more.

The survey also found that although traditional cards represent 82% of the units made, they only account for 24.8% of the market in terms of revenue. In contrast, chip cards represent only 18% of the units made, but 76.8% of the market in terms of revenue.

The North American unit card market remained first in 2000, with 53% share, but its dollar value ranks only fourth, at $548 billion, and North America lags in chip card growth.

However, the 26 million chip cards manufactured in North America made it the only regional market to show dollar growth, growing 3.6% compared with the 4.5% decline reflected in the global data.