Smart Payment Association reports on growth in contactless payment card shipments

Person tapping with phone to pay contactlessly at POS
CONSUMER PREFERENCE: Customer demand is driving the uptick in contactless card shipments:

Nine in ten of the 3.2bn smart payment cards and modules shipped in 2023 included support for contactless payments  “as consumers in all markets embrace touch free payments and tap-to-pay goes mainstream”, the Smart Payment Association reports.

Total shipments of smart payment cards and modules were up from 2.6bn in 2022, the trade body’s annual review of its members’ smart payment card shipments found, while eco-friendly cards now account for 21% of the global total.

“The rise in shipments can be attributed to several factors,” the SPA says. “In addition to welcoming new members into the SPA, 2023 saw a few existing members extend their market perimeters. This expansion of SPA coverage resulted in the capture of incremental shipment figures for the 2023 review.

Disruption reduction

“In parallel with these changes, disruptions, caused by the global silicon chip shortage, reduced throughout the year. As a result, SPA members were able to meet the increased demand caused by the need to replenish inventory levels, as well as the demand from 2022 that was postponed to 2023.”

“A growing consumer preference for contactless payments helped propel a significant uptick in contactless card shipments in markets around the world,” the SPA adds.

“Accounting for 88% of total global shipments recorded for 2023 (up 4 percentage points on 2022 figures), SPA members reported an impressive 27% increase in overall contactless shipment volumes.

“With every country in the world now issuing dual interface cards that support contactless payments, the lowest regional share of contactless shipments hit 78%, with the highest achieving 99%.”

Eco-friendly cards

“Last year global eco-friendly card shipments represented 21% of worldwide total SPA card shipments. This strong share increase (+7 percentage points compared to 14% in 2022 figures), highlights the pace and scale at which banks are transitioning away from first-use PVC as a payment card material.

“50% of these eco-friendly card shipments were for the European market, demonstrating the leadership of this region in the transition, while 40% were delivered to the Americas.

“Close collaboration across the payment card industry is helping to fuel these transformative efforts. In addition to eco-card innovations, SPA members are pioneering end-to-end approaches that encompass a breadth of ‘cradle to grave’ processes – everything from rethinking materials such as inks, envelopes and packaging through to end-of-life recycling.”

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