Report: Global RFID Market Hit $5 Billion in 2007

Written by Evan Schuman
January 18th, 2008

RFID sales around the world hit $5 billion last year, a figure significantly pushed by a $2 billion investment in China’s chipped national ID card, according to a report this week from U.K.-based RFID analysis firm IDTechEx.

That Chinese national ID card program "made China the biggest RFID market but if we peel that away, we see the USA as the biggest market," said IDTechEx CEO Raghu Das, who added that China’s RFID numbers are projected to stay high, even though much of the ID investment is now past.

"This tells us that there are a vast number of new RFID projects in China that will take up the slack now that the glory days of the national ID card are over. They are hugely varied from pigs to mail bags and the prospect of having to tag 150 million pet dogs and 2.4 billion pigs yearly by law. Maybe the 37.5 billion cigarette packets produced every year will be RFID tagged,"

The new figures show strength in RFID activity that is truly global, with the report finding 509 new RFID projects last year, bringing the examined RFID efforts to 3,096 projects in 101 countries involving 4,231 organizations.

"Those newly recorded projects represented 20 percent growth in the size of the database, reflecting the rapid growth of the market way beyond the Chinese ID card," Das said. "We could have added more than 500 more consumer goods companies mandated by retailers to tag pallets and cases but that would be living a lie because most of these are doing little or nothing in the face of the huge financial cost and lack of payback if they comply. Their usage averaged less than 300,000 tags each and those were purchased at prices nearer to ten cents than the $5 of passport tags and $50 or more for most active tags."

The study also found that the more expensive and more sophisticated active tags faring quite well. "A remarkable 32 percent of projects added in 2007 involved active RFID, taking the cumulative figure to 22 percent," Das said. "Little wonder that more than 20 percent of both RFID fund raisings and RFID acquisitions in 2007 involved companies somewhere in the active RFID value chain."


Comments are closed.


StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.