Global smart card integrated circuit card IC card industry shipments and future trends

Global smart card integrated circuit card IC card industry shipments and future trends

1. Industry overview and global smart card shipments

​A Smart card, also known as integrated circuit card or IC card, is a security chip embedded in the card base and pressed into the form of a card, and then written into the card operating system (COS), and finally realize data storage, transmission, processing, and other functions. With the maturing of smart card technology, smart card applications and more extensive, it is currently widely used in mobile communications, financial payment, identity, public utilities and other fields, specific applications including DianXinKa, bank card, social security card, id card, Pr phone cards, gas card, access control card, etc., greatly promoted the convenience degree of people's work and life.

At present, the global smart card industry chain has formed a more mature and perfect division of labor system. The chip design manufacturer is mainly responsible for the design of the circuit structure of the intelligent security chip. After the design is completed, the circuit diagram will be handed to the wafer foundry, the foundry according to the circuit diagram to get the wafer naked, and then to the chip design manufacturer. The chip designer will pass the tested wafer bare to the smart card module packaging manufacturer, and then package the security chip into a smart card module using the flexible lead frame. Business card printing business card module pressed to PVC or other materials on the card base (if non-contact and dual interface products, need to embed antennas), and written into the COS system and initialization, and finally the smart card sold to the card issuer and written by the card issuer into the cardholder's basic information, It is distributed to end users by telecom operators, banks or government agencies.

4af50c5c36267f015b18afc5c3d90fa8In recent years, the global smart card industry has entered a mature period of development. The market size shows a relatively stable situation.

In terms of the telecom SIM card market, the global shipments from 2019 to 2021 were around 5 billion cards, and the proportion of telecom card issuance accounted for about 50% of the total smart card issuance. The global demand for SIM cards has leveled off in recent years as mobile phone penetration has increased. At present, the SIM card of telecom is mainly a plug card, and there is a unified standard. From the perspective of development trend, there are two parallel development trends of telecom SIM cards. One is the SIM card that can be used for mobile phone terminals and can store the address book and the identity information of operators and users.

In recent years, SIM cards for mobile phones have also been expanding into new functions, such as high-capacity SIM cards that can partially replace the phone's memory, and super SIM cards with high-performance financial payment capabilities. The second is the embedded eSIM, which is widely used in the Internet of Things. The eSIM card is directly welded to the circuit board of the device. Compared with the pluggable SIM card, the eSIM card is more reliable, resistant to high and low temperatures, earthquake resistance, and dust resistance. At present, eSIM embedded cards are mainly used in wearable devices, mobile electronic devices (such as shared bikes), public electronic facilities or terminal devices with remote networking communication needs. As one of the most basic and core components in the Internet of Things, eSIM embedded cards have a huge application space and are rapidly developing in the market.

Bank chip card market, the 2019-2021 global shipments of around 3.5 billion, due to the popularization of mobile payment, China and some developed countries bank chip card issuance presents downward trend year by year, but in most of the developing countries around the world, mobile payment has not been popular. In these countries bank chip card penetration rate is not high, there is growing demand. Therefore, in general, the global bank chip card demand in recent years is stable.

In terms of other smart cards, the application of identity documents issued by governments, including identity cards, passports, Hong Kong and Macao passes, will be relatively stable. All kinds of industry application cards, including public transportation, social security, electronic access control, member value storage, campus cards, etc., still have room for development.

In recent years, with the continuous progress of the construction of the "GOLD card Project" and the deep integration of emerging technology and industry application, the domestic smart card market has developed rapidly, and the penetration rate of smart cards in the fields of financial payment, mobile communication, public transportation, security certificate and so on has been increasing.

2. In the future, the development of the smart card industry will show the following development trend:

(1) The smart card industry is evolving in terms of technology.​

Take telecom SIM cards as an example. With the development of mobile communication technology, SIM cards are evolving from the first generation of SIM cards to 5G SIM cards. Every upgrade of communication technology brings the upsurge of users to replace SIM cards. They are SIM cards and eSIM virtual cards, as described above.

(2) The application field of the smart card industry is penetrating continuously.​

With the continuous progress of communication technology and the further improvement of basic telecommunications facilities, the trend of electronic and information technology in all industries is becoming more and more obvious, and emerging application scenarios are being explored by the market. The application of smart card is not confined to the traditional application domains such as finance, telecommunications, transportation, and gradually cover from daily life to multiple areas of industrial production, including tax, gas, water and electricity management, vehicle management, transportation, medical, social insurance, etc., the application demand of deepening constantly iterative upgrade will create smart card products.

(2) The penetration rate of smart cards is still low in emerging developing countries, which will become the new growth point of the global smart card industry in the future.​

The popularization of smart card needs to be upgraded gradually from meeting basic rigid requirements to value-added service requirements. Therefore, smart cards are usually preferentially applied in the application scenarios of daily life such as bank cards and telecommunication cards. Countries represented by Western developed countries and China have entered the process of smart card upgrading from rigid demand to value-added service demand, while most developing countries are still in the initial stage of smart card popularization, and the penetration rate of smart card is still low. As developing countries have a huge population base, with the continuous improvement of telecom infrastructure and the further expansion of smart card application, their demand for smart cards will increase significantly, and will become a new growth point of the global smart card industry in the future.

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