With a population of over 180 million and sustainable economic growth, Briazil offers numerous unique opportunities for the smart card industry. The examoles on this are the introduction of high-end SIM card, EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) cards expansion into the banking and payment market segments, as well as the promise of smart identification into the largest country in Latin America, according to the analyst Alejandra Etcharran of Frost & Sullivan. This allows key market participants to offer value-added services, while assuring long-term revenues.
SIM cards lead the smart card markets production and revenues in Brazil. The GSM market maintained a 99 percent increase per year in 2005, achieving more than 44.5 million subscribers. On the contrary, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) obtained 24.1 million, while Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technology possessed 17.4 million subscribers. The GSM family of technologies is used by seven out of eight Brazilian mobile wireless service providers, which clearly indicates that no other wireless technology matches GSMs scope and scale.
It is imperative to raise awareness with customers in each market segment about the smart cards value addition for generating different business opportunities, while providing all kind of benefits, convenience, and increased security. The challenge remains in offering value-added services in ways that they are both affordable to different end users and profitable for the Government and the involved companies. This can be achieved through improved product portfolio and tariff schemes for service-added offerings according to the target market needs, such as time saving, comfort, and entertainment.
The difficulty is on developing strategies that approach a wide number of low-income customers in both urban and rural areas, while still providing adequate infrastructure for the city centers, explains the analyst. Low-income population represents the largest opportunity for achieving high smart card penetration level. However, increasing incidents of fraud in e-banking and payment is likely to boost demand for smart cards.
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