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    Access Will Overtake Transit As Main Contactless Card Application

    Use of contactless smart cards will grow sharply over the next few years, with access control overtaking transit as the main application by 2006, according to a report by London-based research organization Datamonitor. The value of contactless smart cards sold will grow from $110 million in 2001 to $615 million in 2006, according to the report. In terms of unit shipped, contactless cards will grow from just under 100 million cards this year to about 280 million in 2006, according to analyst James Adams, author of the Datamonitor report entitled "Proximity Payments". While fare cards led access control by last year, with $55 million worth of cards sold for transit compared with $40 million for access, by 2006 the market for contactless cards for entering buildings and other facilities will be $225 million, compared with $200 million for public transit, says the report. Contactless cards operate by radio signals, and need only be waved within a short distance of a reader. Conventional contact cards, which are inserted into card readers, still represent more than 95% of the 2002 smart card market of $4.3 billion in 2002. But the contactless portion of the market is growing at twice the rate of contact cards, says Datamonitor.

    ( 2002-09-12 )

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