Smart card usage in the North American financial services marketplace increased 244% in 2000 from the previous year, according to a report from the Smart Card Alliance.
The Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the uptake of multiple application smart card technology, commissioned KPMG's information risk management practice to carry out the study. All major smart card manufacturers supplying the US and Canada were surveyed for the years of 1999 and 2000. Statistics for 2001 statistics will be reported in the first quarter next year.
Results of the study show the total number of smart cards manufactured for use within the US and Canada for 1999 was 20,775,000. In 2000, this number grew to 28,430,000 - a 37% growth. The fastest growing market segment between 1999 and 2000 was the financial market sector with a growth rate of 244%.
Paul Beverly, chairman of the Smart Card Alliance, comments: "The survey results clearly show the increased level of card issuance and adoption, and highlight the importance of implementing smart card programmes at this time."