ABI Research forecasts 2.1 billion contactless credentials will ship into the transportation and ticketing market in 2018; a combination of smart cards and limited use RFID solutions. Shipment forecasts for 2018 are just over double that achieved in 2012.
MiFare solutions continued to account for the lion's share of shipments, at just over 80 percent of all contactless ticketing credentials deployed in 2012. Although ABI Research expects it to remain as the number one solution of choice, new standards coming to market, including CiPurse and a fast increasing "others" category will reduce MiFare's share to a forecasted 69 percent in 2018.
The market continues to evolve at a fast pace and further fragmentation is expected as government's worldwide look at implementing national standards in a bid to guarantee interoperability, enabling cross-authority travel with single credentials. ITSO in the UK and VDV in Germany are just two examples, with China also mandating migration to a new localized standard. Although local standards may use a well-known technology as its backbone, it is likely that the solutions will be certified under local names.
Overall shipment growth is forecast to maintain double-digit YoY growth rates over the next five years; however, shipments of memory-based smart cards are falling, having already decreased by 4 percent between 2012 and 2013.
Research analyst Phil Sealy comments, "The demise of the memory card market is expected, although it's happening a little sooner than initially predicted. Transport authorities are pressing hard to adopt higher-end applications and migrate to next generation credentials offering improved security and a platform to enable multi-application functionality."