Multi-Application Smart Card Developers Must Convince Card Issuers of Product Viability to Spur Upta

Wednesday 30 June 2004 00:19 CET | News

Card issuers misgiving about uncertain return on investment on multi-application smart cards is one of the primary barriers to its greater deployment.
To build demand, smart card manufacturers and open platform consortiums need to establish a viable business case for multi-application cards. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Battle of Platforms, reveals that this market generated unit shipment of 220 million for JavaCard and 8.3 million for MULTOS in 2003. Total market unit shipment is expected to reach 867 million and 46.8 million for JavaCard and MULTOS, respectively, in 2008. The relative high costs of open platform applications over native platform products continue to be a major deterrent to their acceptance. While open platforms are ideal for smart card applications that feature dynamic downloadable capability, they are at the wrong end of the price spectrum for end users who prefer less expensive, low-functionality solutions. In the banking segment, the uptake of JavaCards and MULTOS cards has been steady, but market share rankings are expected to remain static in the short and medium terms. This is because most multi-application projects in banking have only dual applications (payment and loyalty or e-purse and debit). Once the prices of open platform products come down, they should be able to increase their shares in the banking segment. While the tremendous popularity of Java as a computing language is boosting the JavaCards appeal to users, MULTOS has had to carry ahead on its own steam. The extra impetus is expected to come from the introduction of MULTOS step/one program, which is expected to be a success, especially among issuers in the banking market who are looking at limited functionality. Apart from the banking segment, MULTOS is expected to take off in a big way in the national ID application segment. Hong Kongs national ID project that involved seven million cards is one of the biggest success stories for MULTOS, and with Japan recently announcing the launch of voluntary ID cards, the market is likely to enter a new phase of development. This is a very healthy sign for the card industry, as these projects can be expected to evolve in future to accommodate more and better applications. Battle of Platforms, a part of the Smart Card Subscription, compares the various trends and opportunities in the smart card platforms market. The research has segmented the smart card platform market into native and open platforms. It provides the market and technology trends in both segments and analyzes the most prominent applications for these platforms. Interviews and executive summaries are available to the press.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Cards
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce


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