CARTES 2005 stops and researches ID cards

From: French Technology Press Bureau (FTPB)
Published: Fri Sep 30 2005

According to Eurosmart, personal electronic identity cards (health cards, identity cards, passports, driving licences, etc.) deployed by government administrations made up 3% of card volume in 2004 and company cards formed 0.8%, making a total of nearly 4%. Once accumulated, they should reach 4.5% in 2005, which is still very small.

The market for identity cards has a great deal of potential but is experiencing difficulties involved in the starting-up of projects that easily total tens of millions of cards. For example, 60 million Sésam Vitale 2 cards, to be launched in France later this year or in early 2006, are to be distributed over 24 months. (These cards are to be used by patients and the national health service in France.) Deployment of this card alone represents 50% of the world market forecast for identity cards in 2005. This also applies to electronic passports, with an estimated 700 to 900 million in the world, of which at least 50% could be ‘dematerialised’ in a contact-less electronic version within five to ten years, that is to say a minimum of 116% of the 2005 world market forecast for identity cards.

The same observation can be made for national identity cards. All European countries are working on a project that could come to fruition in five to ten years’ time and certain countries in Asia – such as Thailand, China and India – have already taken steps in this direction. Without China or India, the volumes of cards to be produced would therefore be similar to that of passports, at 40 to 70 million per year. Including China totally changes the figures – it is to replace, from the end of this year, 100 million identity cards (launched in 1984) with contact-less smart cards. The Chinese authorities plan the delivery of a total of one billion identity cards (contact-less smart cards) in the next five years. This will be in stages, with an average of 200 million cards each year.

India is also going to be a heavyweight player with its own identity card project (with about one billion cards according to the country’s National Informatics Centre) and another for electronic driving licences (150 million) that are currently being set up. All these rapidly growing markets can be expected to change the traditional profile of the card industry. The major question is knowing when.

Preliminary replies and reports will be available from 15 to 17 November at the CARTES 2005 exhibition.

About CARTES 2005

CARTES 2005 will take place at the Paris Nord Villepinte Centre (north of the French capital) from 15 to 17 November 2005. In addition to a new Identification area devoted to identification and authentication technologies, CARTES is organising a series of talks/conferences whose subjects are to include RFID, biometrics, card basics, access control, security and the protection of administrative documents.
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