A report from marketing consultants Frost & Sullivan on the global smartcard market predicts the number of cards in circulation could more than double from 1.75 billion in 2000 to 3.66 billion by 2004.
These predictions were made before last week's terrorist attacks in the US, which may well boost smartcard uptake through the increased use of identity cards.
Anoop Ubhey, industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said vendors needed to offer customers more benefits from using smartcard technology.
"The fortunes of the smartcard market increasingly depend on the ability to provide one-stop secure, integrated solutions," said Ubhey. This trend, in turn, would accelerate the development of competitive e-business offerings.
"The repositioning of smartcard manufacturers as end-to-end solution providers will put market participants in pole position to capitalise on developments in the flourishing e-payment solutions industry."
Smartcards are taking the place of money, tickets, documents and files, according to Frost & Sullivan. "These applications need more and more intelligence inside the card to ensure an ever-increasing level of security," said Ubhey.