Global Contactless Payment Card Shipments Surpass 2 Billion in 2021 – NFCW

ADOPTION: More than three-quarters of payment cards and modules shipped in 2021 were contactless

According to figures published by the Smart Payment Association (SPA).

SPA reports that 269 million additional contactless cards and modules were shipped in 2021 compared to the previous year and that the percentage of cards with contactless functionality increased from 69% in 2020 to 59% in 2019 to reach 76% in 2021.

The figures also show that the number of eco cards shipped to issuers around the world has increased from 31 million in 2020 to almost 100 million in 2021.

“All regions showed year-on-year growth except for the US due to an anticipated ‘down cycle’ and China. Europe has been the fastest growing market and CISMEA has continued to grow from the record year of 2019,” says SPA.

“These figures confirm that the demand for secure payment cards continues to grow: SPA 2021 shipments are starting to recover compared to 2020, showing a growth of +5%.

“The SPA believes the numbers would have been higher had it not been for the chip shortage affecting the industry. SPA members have suffered from chip allocations preventing them from fully meeting customer demand.”

“Last year was again a challenge in itself. The ongoing pandemic has continued with strong and unpredictable global supply disruptions. Our whole industry has suffered from local blockages affecting the production and supply of chips, semi-finished products and cards, as well as associated air freight problems due to the drop in capacity”, adds the president of SPA, Andreas Strobel.

“On the other hand, our sector itself is showing strong resilience, in particular due to a growing demand for contactless cards, driven by increased consumer needs towards a preference for easy payment methods, without contact and secure.

“Overall, the numbers indicate an upward trend in shipments, attributed to this higher consumer demand for contactless cards.”

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Elaine R. Knight