Brazil leads S. America with high-tech ID

Oct. 24, 2012 at 1:47 PM
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BRASILIA, Brazil, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Brazil has taken the lead with its introduction of the first high-tech identity smart card in Latin America amid concerns over security in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

The Latin American economic major joins a handful of countries that have adopted the new identity smart card, touted by the industry as a high-end contactless solution with multiple functions, biometrics and other security features.

Adoption of the ID smart card by Brazil, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland and Russia contributed to a global growth in ID smart card business revenues to $3.5 billion this year.

Trends suggest those earnings may reach $7.6 billion by 2017, says a report by ABI Research, a market intelligence company which has headquarters in New York.

Governments are increasingly deploying high-end national ID cards to improve security, multi-application adoption and streamline existing services, says the report.

In doing so, governments also merge online and offline services with cards used to authenticate transactions in both environments.

"The drive in higher level product adoption will result in end user national ID smart card revenues increasing from $3.5 billion in 2012 to $7.6 billion in 2017," it said.

The report termed 2012 as "an extremely fruitful year in high-end smart card adoption with France, Russia, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia and Poland all making progress in their migration to next generation credentials."

It said year-on-year growth rates are expected to remain in the double digits right through to 2014. "The business pipeline remains strong with contactless adoption at the heart of requirements," it added.

In 2012 combined shipments of pure contactless and dual interface national ID cards accounted for 19 percent of all shipments and are forecast to increase to 37 percent in 2017.

But it is the use of dual interface cards that is demonstrating the fastest growth with a compound annual growth rate of 65 percent over the same time.

"An increased proportion of national ID projects now stipulate the use of a dual interface IC," research analyst Phil Sealy said.

"Dual interface gives the best of both worlds with contactless, a convenient, user-friendly and easy to read solution, whilst being able to offer high-value payment transaction capabilities and other services which may require card entry into laptops, PCs, kiosks, and terminals through the contact component."

Practice director John Devlin said although governments set their own standards and application criteria, the common denominator is the desire to streamline services to decrease costs.

"Multi-application solutions are proven and the business case is clear, which is why adoption and migration to higher end technology continues to grow even in the face of economic uncertainty," he said.

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