International Card Manufacturers Association LogoMany people ask us whether we worry about ID cards being replaced by mobile apps?   Our answer is: “maybe, but not for a long, long time”.  While there are some situations where a mobile app has become a preferable solution, there are still many circumstances where a mobile app presents a less desirable solution than a traditional, physical ID card.

Perhaps the best confirmation that there is still a lot of strength in the card market are the overall global statistics.  According to Card Manufacturing, the official publication of ICMA (the International Card Manufacturers Association), the global card industry produced 36.1 billion cards in 2017, which represented a 2% increase over the previous year.  Of those, 9.3 billion were manufactured in North America, second only to Asia-Pacific (15 billion).

We were particularly heartened to learn, from the same source, that 46% of those cards, or 16.6 billion worldwide, were smart cards (chip cards, RFID, contactless, and dual-interface).  And personalization and fulfillment, which includes the services offered by InstantCard, grew by 1.4% in 2017, and represented the vast majority of total cards produced (30.2 of the 36.1 billion produced).

Much of the world card production was for financial cards, SIM cards, prepaid phone cards, and gift cards.  But still growing is the demand for cards in the following segments:

  • government/healthcare
  • transportation
  • retail and gas
  • loyalty and promotion
  • access control
  • ID and membership

Overall, we believe that the industry statistics prove that there is still strong growth in the demand for ID cards, of the kind produced by InstantCard every day.  We look forward to supporting the growth of the industry for many years to come!