India Smart Cards Market to cross INR 5,000 Crore by 2015



Contact Smart Cards dominate the market; Contactless Smart Cards the way forward

Telecommunications is the leading revenue generating vertical

According to the CyberMedia Research (CMR) India Smart Cards MarketIMG (Initial Market Guidance), 2011-2015, September 2012 published today, the country’s market for smart cards offers high growth opportunities to vendors, especially in the Government, Transportation and Banking sectors.

Smart cards run on Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technology that facilitates identification and authentication of individuals. Smart cards can be categorized into contact, contactless and hybrid smart cards.

“Traditionally contact smart cards have played a crucial role in defining the growth of the market.  However, in the coming years we expect to see a major shift towards contactless and hybrid smart cards,” said Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CMR.

Government initiatives and demand for advanced public transportation systems are spurring the growth of smart cards in India”, Anirban further added. 

The CMR India Smart Cards MarketIMG, 2011-2015, September 2012 identifies the prominent factors responsible for the growth of the smart cards market in India as:

  • Government projects
  • Advanced public transportation systems
  • Declining prices
  • Increasing mobile penetration
  • Demand for plastic money, etc.

In terms of size, the India Smart Cards market generated INR 3,103.6 Crore revenues in 2011 and is expected to generate INR 5,276.6 Crore by 2015, growing at a CAGR of 12.3% from 2012-2015.

According to Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Semiconductor & Electronics Practice, “Smart cards are being deployed in a wide range of applications in the Government, Transportation, Telecommunications, Banking, IT-ITeS and Healthcare sectors. Over the years the Telecommunications application has ruled the India smart cards market, wherein these cards are used as SIM cards in mobile phones. Telecommunications application for smart cards generates more than 55 percent of market revenues. However, going forward we expect Government, Transportation and Banking applications to contribute significantly to drive market growth.”

“The UID / Aadhar Scheme, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and Public Distribution System (PDS), Driving Licence, e-Passport and e-Visas are some of the government projects that are likely to boost market growth. The need for secure and safe financial transactions is also catalyzing the smart cards market in India. Consumers’ shift towards plastic money is regarded as key factor in the growth of this segment”, pointed out Faisal.

Rajat Kharbanda, Analyst, CMR Semiconductor & Electronics Practice added, “Two types of smart card technologies that are available in the market today – Mask ROM technology and Flash technology. While Mask ROM technology is widely used in the market, with changing requirements to reduce lead time for production and development, demand for higher flexibility and reducing total cost of ownership is expected to spur the market for smart cards based on Flash technology. In the coming years we expect growing acceptance and off take of Flash technology-based smart cards in application markets like banking, telecommunications and transportation”.

According to the CMR India Smart Cards MarketIMG, 2011-2015, September 2012, the trends that would be increasingly visible in the coming years in the India smart cards market include:

  • Shift towards contactless smart cards;
  • Application add-ons, and
  • e-Purse / e-Wallet.

“A majority of the smart cards that are used in the country today are imported. Players like Gemalto, Oberthur, Sagem Morpho and Giesecke & Devrient are popular foreign smart card brands in India. In the coming years, we expect domestic manufacturing of these cards, to bridge the gap between demand and supply. The Government of India is also encouraging local players to manufacture smart cards within the country. Further, foreign players have started to set up facilities in India to bring the cost of these cards further down”, Rajat concluded.