Converged Technologies Spiffs up Smart Cards’ Prospects in Asia Pacific
Product quality and innovation has displaced
pricing as the primary business factor in the Asia Pacific smart card
industry, following the extensive efforts to integrate technologies.
Market participants are making significant headway toward product
advancement, as testified by smart cards’ increasing convergence of
applications and integration with diverse technologies.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.smartcards.frost.com),
Strategic Assessment Of The Asia Pacific Smart Card Markets Outlook,
finds that 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 the industry revenues.
Smart card companies are looking to establish an early mover advantage
in countries with untapped potential. Since most of these countries do
not have legacy systems, it will be easy for the market to quickly
implement contactless as well as next-generation converged applications.
Indeed, tier 1 and 2 countries have already started converging payment
and transit applications. The next step would be to integrate the same
onto mobile phones.
This rapid pace of development, however, has thrown up issues of
standardization and interoperability in the Asian market. As many system
integrators provide their own proprietary software, end users often
depend on a single system integrator. This could result in delays in
“To address these issues of standardization and interoperability, smart
card vendors are focusing on inter and intra project cooperation as well
as migration toward the global platform for interoperability,” says
Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Navin Rajendra. “This move will also
enhance awareness of smart cards.”
Once end users are comfortable with the technology, new applications can
be added to improve revenue generation.
The widespread usage of contactless cards and mobile phones for
contactless transactions will gradually become evident in 2008. The
success of converged applications in several Asian countries is tempting
industry participants to replicate this success in other countries in
Near field communication (NFC) has moved out of boardrooms to field
projects in Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan. In fact, there are already
some cost-effective alternatives to the NFC phone. Some options include
a contactless subscriber identity module (SIM) and a radio frequency
Another converged application that has caught the fancy of end users,
particularly in Japan, is the ‘mobile wallet’. This product, in which
transit and payment applications converge, has proved to be so popular
that the top three mobile operators have issued more than 100 types of
mobile wallet phones.
Yet another instance of converged technology implementation is the
deployment of biometric readers in automated teller machines (ATMs) in
Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.
“These ATMs were installed with biometric readers that employed smart
cards integrated with biometrics,” notes Rajendra. “This provided
stronger authentication, and the same was applied for corporate as well
as residential access control.”
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides
manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an
outlook of the Asia Pacific smart card industry, then send an e-mail to
Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at [email protected], with
your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail
address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the
above information, an overview will be sent to you by e-mail.
Strategic Assessment Of The Asia Pacific Smart Card Markets Outlook is
part of the Smart Cards Growth Partnership Service program, which also
includes research in the following markets: Integrated Smart Cards and
Biometrics Outlook (APAC), Emerging applications in selected APAC
countries. All research services included in subscriptions provide
detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been
evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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