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Survey of Card Issuers – February 2012

At the end of February Plastic Card Services conducted an informal survey among card issuing companies/bodies. The target sample included organisations of all sizes ranging from independent retail outlets to multinational corporations; from small charities to local government authorities. The results were collated over the following two weeks and are presented in the following report.

The results, perhaps surprisingly in these times of global economic uncertainty, point to a largely buoyant sector with only a minority of card issuers stating that they expect their card purchases to decrease in the coming 12 months. Rather than stagnating, the survey shows that the card market is opening up to new technologies such as environmentally friendly materials and contactless smart cards. Also on the rise is interest in new applications of traditional card manufacturing, such as the increasingly popular “key-fob” concept.

Ultimately, I think you’ll agree that the coming years are going to be an exciting time for the card production industry, where innovation and adaptability are going to be the cornerstones of success.

Our research highlights the fact that Card Issuing companies, on the whole, are expecting an increase in demand over the coming year. Combined with the strong production figures of the past year, we can see that plastic card issuance schemes, in all their many guises, buck the recent general economic trend of downsizing production.

Whilst our research does not shed any light on the underlying reasons for this growth, we have seen from our own experience that retailers (of all sizes) and service providers are as keen as ever to launch loyalty, membership and discount schemes. This is perhaps not so surprising when one considers the underlying economic landscape of the past few years which has seen gradual and persistent reduction in retail expenditure across nearly all sectors. With this in mind it is easy to see why retailers and service providers would view loyalty and similar schemes as increasingly important: as a way to maximise their market share during difficult trading conditions.

Environmental concerns are continuing their trend of becoming ever more important to industry and consumers alike. Customer demand for more environmentally friendly products and services has grown exponentially over the past decade and this trend is only going to increase further, particularly as shifts in government legislation and consumer attitudes demand greater eco-sustainability. We hope you find the following results as enlightening as we have and we look forward to helping you with your plastic card requirements in the coming months and years.

Number of Cards Issued Per Annum: 32% less than 5000; 16% 5000 to 20000; 14% 20000 to 50000; 8% 50000 to 100000; 8% 100000 to 250000; 8% 250000 to 500000; 3% 500000 to 1 million; 11% over 1 million;

Do you see that number falling, rising, or staying the same over the next 3 years?

Your interest in environmentally sound, biodegradable cards?

Your interest in transferring card technology to contact smart cards?

Contactless Smart Card Interest

Your interest in transferring to new card concepts such as key fob cards

Download the report in .pdf format here.