Four trends driving growth in security printing

Four trends driving growth in security printing
Exclusive research from the new Smithers study The Future of Global Security Printing to 2024 shows that value in this market reached $29.5 billion in 2019. Across the following five years the market will grow at a rate of 4.1% year-on-year to reach $36.0 billion in 2024.

Smithers’ analysis identifies the following trends that will shape supply and demand for security print products through to 2024.

The transition to digital identity

Personal ID documents represent the second largest segment of the overall security print market. Many countries are now investigating the potential of digital identity platforms. While still in its infancy this trend will accelerate in the years to come.

A major stepping stone has been the implementation of European Union Electronic Identification and Signature Regulations (eIDAS) which sets common rules for the authentication, billing, signatures and transmission of data. The Netherlands, Germany and Austria have already pioneered switching to more online identity services. This gives cost savings to the issuing authority and improves the speed of use and control of data for the citizen.

Digital identity also provides multiple opportunities in transition economies, where it can speed enrolment and give poorer citizens access to government services for the first time. For the governments of such countries it has the additional advantage that it can improve service provision, including the collection of tax revenues.  

Service provider business models

For developed markets the shift towards digital credentials and authentication will have a gradual affect. Physical ID documents will still be issued, but many be carried and presented less often. Digital IDs naturally lead consolidation and wider adoption of single physical document with credentials stored on a mobile device that connect to various services hosted online.

Government budgets for such services are limited. Consequently there is an impetus for private security printers (PSPs) to diversify their offerings and evolve to become service providers. This will see them incorporating identity-as-a-service business models, not just printing a document but also providing software and databases post-issuance.

The most recent development has been the arrival of Blockchain technology that promises secure remote transmission of credentials, and many PSPs are actively investing to bring expertise in this area in house. Concerns over privacy and the potential for citizens to better control what information they share with authorities – citizen sovereign identity – will provide a further rationale for states to adopt this.

The next generation of tax stamps

The fastest growing security print product within the market across 2019-2024 is tax stamps. This is due principally to the passing into force of:

  • The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
  • The EU’s Tobacco Products Directive.

This has led to multiple new contracts, for tax stamps that must meet the new technical standards prescribed in these. For governments in Europe and around the world these give the potential to better target counterfeits, control grey market imports, and ultimately improve the health of their citizens.

The introduction of unique printed identifiers on packs enhances this, by allowing authorities to track-and-trace shipments and better stop a booming counterfeiting sector.

In response to this security print companies are updating their tax stamp portfolios and combining this with software and service offerings that can give value-adding services to governments.

While currently limited to tobacco once implemented this new generation of tax stamps can be extended to other similar goods, such as alcohol or legalised cannabis.

From cash to contactless to mobile payment

From a global perspective the use of payment cards is accelerating, especially in those regions where contactless payment has gained traction with consumers. The next step being investigated actively by commercial banks and payment service providers is to add biometrics on to cards to move away from chip and PIN verification.

This presents a further opportunity for SPSs that can diversify their technology offerings. For example, Gemalto worked with UK bank NatWest in September 2019 on a trial of bank cards with integrated fingerprint biometrics.
The trend towards card payment may ultimately affect demand for printed banknotes. These represent 35.5% of global market value in 2019. Sluggish growth will see this share will decline through to 2024, though banknote printing will remain the single end-use in security print. 

Any transition relies heavily on consumer attitudes and confidence; these vary widely according to national boundaries. Sweden is the country that is furthest advanced down the road to contactless payment, but certain major EU economies – notably Germany – remain very loyal to cash.

Contactless card payment is itself under threat from mobile payment platforms, with major technology companies such as Apple and Google investing heavily in smartphone-based payment platforms. In particular China has the widest use of this technology. The dominant local service provides for mobile payment Alibaba (Alipay) and WeChat (Tencent) represent around 94% of this market, and have helped keep international credit card – such as Mastercard and American Express – companies presence to a minimum.

The Future of Global Security Printing analyses and quantifies the trends outlined above to provide comprehensive forecasts for current and future growth in all major security print sectors. Data is sub-divided by security print component, document type, and geographic region.

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