Smart cards to boom in MENA market


New research predicts that the smart card market is to grow rapidly (image: stock.xchng)

New research predicts that the smart card market will grow rapidly in coming years. Market research firm Frost and Sullivan released a report predicting that the smart card market in the Middle East and North Africa is set to reach $328.5 billion by 2014, according to the Middle Eastern News business service Bawaba.

The telecommunications industry will account for the majority of growth, comprising 64.4 percent of all smart card sales.

Smart cards are small microprocessors that hold information related to their user.  Most people are familiar with smart cards in mobile phones, where they are mostly used to hold contact information.

In the period from 2011-2013, the Middle East and North Africa will see fast growth in the smart card market, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8 percent, it still lags behind the global market that is estimated by Frost and Sullivan to grow at a CAGR of 12 percent.

Smart cards are also used in cell phones, insurance cards, credit cards, and debit cards, but Frost and Sullivan attributes the growth to demands for digital security. Smart cards can be used in national identity cards.

Jahd Khalil