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15% Annual Growth In Volume of GlobalPlatform Based Smart Cards

1 October, 2008 – GlobalPlatform, the international smart card specifications association, has today released figures showing a conservatively estimated annual increase of 15% in the total number of smart cards, which utilize the GlobalPlatform Card Specification as the basis for card infrastructure, that have been deployed globally.

The organization approximates that since October 2007, the number of deployed GlobalPlatform based smart cards has risen from 265 million to 305.7 million worldwide. Ninety GlobalPlatform-based card implementations have now been reported across Europe, Asia, Australasia and the Americas.

To showcase the adaptability and relevance of its technology across different vertical sectors, GlobalPlatform has also identified the key industry sectors driving issuance of GlobalPlatform based smart cards. Of the 305.7 million cards deployed to date:


  • 45% (137.6 million cards) has been issued by governments, primarily for ID and healthcare applications;
  • 32.7% (100 million cards) has been issued by the mobile telecommunications sector;
  • 21.9% (66.9 million cards) has been issued by the financial sector;
  • 0.4% (1.2 million cards) has been issued by the transit sector.


An additional two billion mid range USIM/SIM cards worldwide are currently estimated to use GlobalPlatform card technology to enable over-the-air (OTA) application downloads for 3G and GSM mobile networks. In October 2007, this figure was reported to be 1.4 billion, resulting in a year-on-year increase of 43%.

Marc Kekicheff, Vice Chair of GlobalPlatform and Senior Business Leader of Product Technology at Visa Inc., comments: “GlobalPlatform is known to offer established and proven technical specifications upon which to build all components of a smart card program – from the cards themselves, through to card acceptance devices and back end systems. The continued growth in deployment of the GlobalPlatform Card Specification is positive news, which can be attributed to the many benefits that GlobalPlatform technology offers issuers, including scalability, flexibility to adapt to future program changes, reduced time to market, lower overall deployment costs and the avoidance of restrictive single-source supplier relationships.

“The growth also reflects the constant evolution of the specifications to ensure that they continuously address, and even pre-empt, marketplace requirements. GlobalPlatform’s success in driving adoption of its technology throughout both the government and mobile telecoms sectors worldwide, for example, has been dependent on the organization’s extensive collaborations with other industry and technology groups and subsequent recognition of other standards and technical developments in its own specifications. This has ensured applicability and flexibility for different emerging applications. Industry collaboration will continue to play a vital part in GlobalPlatform’s strategy moving forward and we look forward to the continued acceptance and deployment of GlobalPlatform Specifications across industries worldwide, for many years to come.”

GlobalPlatform Specifications for cards, devices and systems are available for royalty-free download from As GlobalPlatform makes its specifications freely available to the industry, implementing parties have no obligation to report deployment or usage statistics back to GlobalPlatform. For this reason, GlobalPlatform issued statistics relating to card deployments are based on best estimates and are likely to be conservative. It is also for this reason that no GlobalPlatform based device and system deployment statistics are available.



For further media information on GlobalPlatform, please contact Georgina D’Arcy / Sarah Jones at iseepr: or on +44 (0) 1943 468007.

About GlobalPlatform

GlobalPlatform is the global leader in smart card infrastructure development and its proven, technical specifications for cards, devices and systems are known as the standard for smart card infrastructure. GlobalPlatform is a member driven association with cross-industry representation from all world continents. For more information about GlobalPlatform, visit:

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