Although integrated smart cards and
biometrics technology is only at an early growth phase, the stage is
being set for its exceptional growth. Industry participants in every
part of the value chain are implementing smart cards integrated with
biometrics on an open platform to ensure interoperability and ease of
addition of future applications. Such long-term planning will ensure the
survival of any integrated solution’s implementation.
As such, there is immense opportunity for smart cards in the untapped
markets in Asia. The widespread acceptance of new technology in the
early stages is quite encouraging for smart card participants. System
integrators have realized the need for proper planning and coordination
in order to increase market revenue.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.smartcards.frost.com),
APAC Integrated Smart Cards and Biometrics Markets, finds that the
market earned $249.1 million in 2007 and is expected to reach $822.2
million by 2013.
The market has already bagged numerous and significant projects such as
the national ID and e-passport programs. National ID projects are the
most active revenue generators for the market, since all governments in
the Asia Pacific are looking at implementing biometrics along with smart
A few national ID projects such as those of India’s and Malaysia’s have
already started using biometric verification, while Japan’s and China’s
are still at the planning stages. With many more countries looking at
implementing national ID projects, and biometrics being one of the pre
requisites for these projects, the market has good reasons to feel
“The number of national ID projects that are in the pipeline in the Asia
Pacific shows the huge potential for smart cards integrated with
biometrics,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Navin Rajendra.
“Furthermore, with the implementation of the e-passport program coming
to an end by 2008, new issuance of passports by the countries under the
U.S. VISA Waiver program will add significantly to the unit shipment
The market growth rate in 2006 was 55.2 percent, despite many of the
national ID projects not operating at full scale. Considering even
corporate security, banking, and e-passport programs have not reached
their full potential, the unit shipment growth is expected to rocket in
spite of fluctuations in the growth rate.
Apart from enhancing security, the integration of biometrics with smart
cards eliminates the need for multiple identification requirements. This
means that no time is lost in retrieving passwords or keys.
Integrated systems also offer cost-conscious organizations with an
opportunity to provide high levels of security at affordable prices.
However, smart cards integrated with biometrics still faces competition
from low-cost, conventional access control systems.
“In a market where pricing is crucial, it is important for industry
participants to implement projects that have provisions for addition of
future applications,” notes Rajendra. “Such implementations will also
ensure that the integrated cards will not be obsolete in the future.”
Moreover, integrated smart cards and biometrics offers a level of
security that cannot be achieved by smart cards and biometrics as
stand-alone technologies. Several end users (most notably, governments)
are well aware of the potential of this integrated technology in various
areas ranging from the rural sector to the most highly secure
environments of government institutions. Such extensive adoption of the
technology is expected to hold the market in good stead.
APAC Integrated Smart Cards and Biometrics Markets is part of the Smart
Cards Growth Partnership Services, which also includes research in the
following markets: Global smart cards market, World Banking (Financial
and Loyalty) Smart Cards Market and Global Smart Card IC Market. All
research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market
opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following
extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press
Frost & Sullivan, the Global Growth Consulting Company, partners with
clients to accelerate their growth. The company’s Growth Partnership
Services, Growth Consulting, and Career Best Practices empower clients
to create a growth-focused culture that generates, evaluates, and
implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45
years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging
businesses, and the investment community from more than 30 offices in