Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Changing Card Market

A global overview

In the June issue of Card Manufacturing I detailed and forecasted the trends, opportunities and growth for the global card manufacturing, personalization and fulfillment (P&F) markets. At the 2014 North American Workshop and EuroForum I delved deeper into those trends and opportunities looking specifically at the North American and European markets. As Asia Pacific continues to play a larger role within the industry I have also taken a detailed looked at this, and the opportunities and growth that are emerging.

In 2013, the global card industry manufactured 34.2 billion cards, which resulted in an increase of 1.9 percent over the prior year. The 34.2 billion cards that were manufactured resulted in $16.1 billion dollars, a 6.5 percent increase over 2012. In 2013, the global card industry personalized and fulfilled 30.2 billion cards resulting in a 1.5 percent increase over 2012. From the 30 2 billion cards that were personalized and fulfilled, $6.4 billion in card services were gained, an 8.8 percent increase of the prior year. What we are seeing from the P&F numbers is that as the global product mix migrates to a higher price; chip cards will continue to accelerate the global dollar market growth. Our industry continues to drive commerce, security and technology while providing employment and opportunities for thousands of people around the world. 
In 2013, North America (U.S. & Canada) manufactured $2.62 billion in cards through 8.78 billion units. This represented a 1.06 percent and 1.03 percent increase over 2012, respectively. North America's dollar growth is driven by the manufacturing of government/health cards, gift cards and especially Canadian financial chip card penetration. Gift cards are the largest segment, at more than 3 billion cards, by which North America is dominated. Financial chip cards are the second largest segment with more than 1.4 billion cards.
When comparing size and ranking of the market segments on a dollar value basis, a very different picture is painted. When looking at the market segments on the dollar value basis, we see that the mobile Card market dominates the North American landscape at one billion dollars, while the growing financial card dollar market is second at $630 million dollars. Overall North America manufactured 9.04 billion cards in 2014, 7.9 of those being traditional cards and 1.1 billion being smart chip cards.

In terms of personalization and fulfillment units, the giftcard market continues to dominate with more than 3 billion cards personalized and fulfilled. The financial segment follows at 1.42 billion cards, with the retail and gas card market rounding out the top three at 915 million cards. Again, when looking at the dollar market value for personalization and fulfillment, the rankings lift just slightly. In terms of dollar market value, the financial market is the largest P&F market with more than $689 million, followed by the gift card market at $597 million, and the retail/gas card market continuing position in third at $246 million.


The European card market grew over the prior year, albeit slightly slower than North America. Europe manufactured 5.66 billion units in 2013, representing one percent growth over 2012. The 5.66 billion units represent $4.15 billion in cards manufactured, which is 1.07 percent increase of 2012. The European market manufactured 1.28 billion prepaid phone cards in 2013, followed by 890 million SIM mobile phone cards and 775 million financial cards. The European market manufactured a total of 5.7 billion cards in 2014, three billion of those being traditional cards and 2.7 billion of those being smart chip cards.
As in North America, comparing the number of cards manufactured to the dollar value alters the landscape of the European market. When looking at the dollar value, the mobile phone and financial phone cards continue to dominate the market, however, they are closely followed by government/health card market. $1.4 billion were manufactured in 2013, followed by the financial market at $886 million and followed by the government/health market at $730 million.
The prepaid phone card market segment continues to dominate the European P&F market as well with 1.28 billion cards personalized and fulfilled. The financial card market follows with 890 million units and the transports on market makes an appearance rounding out the top three with 575 million cards personalized large and fulfilled. The dollar value continues to greatly skew the view of the markets. When looking at the European P&F market in terms of dollar value the number one unit position is held by the financial market at $497 million, followed by the SIM mobile phone market at $260 million. The retail/gas market comes in third position at $257 million.
Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific region has experienced exceptional growth over the past few years and is ranked as the largest regional market with approximately 12.1 billion cards manufactured in 2013. Given this, the Asia Pacific region dominates with more than one-third of global unit volume. In terms of dollars, the region manufactured $7.04 billion in 2013, an impressive nine percent increase over 2012. When looking at the growth of North America and Europe, the Asia Pacific region North America and Europe, the Asia Pacific greatly exceeds the growth of the other regions. 12.1 billion Cards manufactured, 7 billion were traditional cards and 5 billion were smart chip cards.
The Asia Pacific market segments that are helping to drive this growth are SIM mobile with 3.45 billion manufactured, prepaid phones with 1.95 billion and the financial card market at 1.83 billion cards manufactured. As we analyze the dollar Value, the landscape does not change too much. The SIM mobile phone card market dominates the Asia Pacific dollar value at $4.3 billion, while the growing financial card dollar market is second at $918 million.

Looking at P&F units, the Asia Pacific region continues its trend of dominating market segments, beginning with SIM mobile phone, prepaid phone, financial and lastly government/health card market. In terms of P&F dollars, the SIM mobile phone card leads at $724 million, followed by the financial card at $431 million. The retail/gas card comes in last at $159 million.

Outlook for 2014 and Beyond

As we look at the regional reports and analyze the data we see that, again, the Asia Pacific market continues to grow. Its growth will continue but at a slower rate as consumer demand grows in China and India. The region however will continue to outperform all others in the future growth with some selective segments declining. Growth in financial, government/health and transportation will remain strong, driven by EMV, debit and prepaid growth, and the overall adoption of chip cards.  Europe will continue to experience slow declines in some market segments except for gift, government/health, transportation and access control. Manufacturers and personalizers alike would be best served to review the market segments, gain an overall understanding of their potential, and begin to see opportunities within those markets that will sustain their growth.

The 2013 North American, European, and Asia Pacific Card Manufacturing and Personalization and Fulfillment reports are now available on the ICMA member's only website at Members are able to download the reports for free by going to the ICMA website at, then logging into My ICMA/Log-in, and then by clicking on Card Statistics Reports.

No comments:

Post a Comment