Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Smart Card Industry Professional,
As a not-for-profit, membership organization, the Smart Card Alliance mission is to accelerate the widespread adoption, usage, and application of smart card technology in North and Latin America by bringing together users and technology providers in an open forum to address opportunities and challenges for our industry. This balance makes the Smart Card Alliance a unique place where users, issuers and suppliers meet to exchange ideas, discuss common issues and work together to develop and expand the use of all types of integrated circuit “chip” cards and alternative form factor smart cards in the Americas. Members come from all industry sectors, including financial, retail, transit, corporate, government, healthcare and others, along with the technology and solution providers that serve these sectors.
Your membership and participation will deliver these important benefits:
Networking – connecting with valuable contacts and making new ones.
Visibility – putting your organization at the forefront of the industry.
Information, research and education – through conferences, training programs, council participation, white paper publications, and web-based resources.
Business and industry growth – lowering costs and increasing vendor choices through support for standards and industry interoperability.
Influence with policy makers, media and analysts – through association outreach to government and commercial organizations adopting smart card technology.
Innovation – exploring new ways of approaching common business goals.
This is an excellent time to join. Smart cards are now solidly established in North and Latin America, with rapid market growth predicted over the next 5 years. The Frost & Sullivan Americas Smart Card Market Analysis report published in September 2005 predicts that the smart card industry will grow rapidly in North America, at a 27.7 percent compound annual rate over the next five years, from the 132.2 million cards shipped in 2004. Primary drivers for growth in North America include: the issuance of millions of contactless credit and debit cards in the U.S., the migration to EMV in Canada, the deployment of FIPS 201-compliant ID applications by the U.S. government and the move to electronic passports and travel documents. Other segments of the U.S. smart card market such as transit, telecom, pay TV, and enterprise physical and logical security are also leading the way toward the widespread adoption of both contact and contactless smart cards. The report predicts even greater growth in Latin America, a 59 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years, from 136.4 million cards shipped in 2004, with GSM and payment the primary growth markets.
Two major initiatives are underway to expand the reach and influence of the Smart Card Alliance organization. First, the Alliance was awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce MDCP grant to fund a 3-year program to establish a Latin America chapter organization, support the development of joint US-Latin American conference events, and develop educational programs to support emerging countries like Brazil and Mexico and open these growing markets to Alliance member organizations. Secondly, the Alliance has created industry and technology councils to enable members to form focused groups that drive targeted initiatives and deliverables to reach specific industry segments and address specific market or technology issues. Councils will empower individuals and groups to establish their own agenda and projects and solicit support from the Alliance to carry out their missions.
Isn’t it time to place your company with the industry leaders and become part of the “voice of the smart card industry in the Americas?”