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Top 4 Trends in Plastic Card Manufacturing

Nearly everyone is familiar with plastic gift and key cards. You might not be as up to date on the top trends that are driving innovation within the plastic card manufacturing industry. From increased reliance by government agencies to widespread adoption by public transit systems, new areas of growth are diversifying the industry.

Areas of Growth In Card Services in 2014

Plastic cards have taken the gift card industry by storm over the last decade. Incentive Magazine reports that more than 79 percent of American consumers have given gift cards in the past year and more than 90 percent have received one. Add to that hotel key cards, promotional and customer loyalty key tags, ID cards, and other popular card uses, and a very large market begins to emerge.

Here are the top four plastic card manufacturing trends in 2014:

  1. Government and Healthcare Industries. The need for secure IDs, drivers licenses, passport cards, social benefit cards, and healthcare access and patient cards is growing every year. Government and healthcare sectors especially have a high need for security and privacy. The need for more sophisticated technology to protect card users and integrate card functions is a major drive for innovation in 2014.
  2. Financial Industry. The global financial card market continues to expand, creating growth driven especially by dual interface technology and the shift to debit and prepaid cards. New EMV chip card technology is also becoming the norm in many countries. Although mobile payment options are becoming more common, they have a long way to go to outpace card use, and many mobile payment applications require a companion card.
  3. Transportation Industry. You may not associate public transportation with plastic cards, but that may change in the near future. One of 2014’s biggest card manufacturing trends is in the public transportation sector. The move from paper based tickets to contactless smart cards is picking up steam and will likely continue to grow as public transportation systems grow in popularity. Frequent users can be issued closed loop cards, and an emerging trend to create contactless secure financial cards is gaining popularity, as well.
  4. Gift Card Industry. The gift card market is well saturated, but growth continues, especially in closed loop gift card technologies, and during holiday seasons. Widespread acceptance of gift cards in Asian markets is also driving growth in the plastic gift card market.

Plastic cards are bringing security, convenience, and reliability to many industries. Their continued popularity in multiple markets will drive development in these four markets for the foreseeable future.

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