To achieve success, smart card systems must be able to support multiple applications, according to a new report from Ovum.
"Multi-application smart card systems are mandatory. Single application systems typically offer a low return on investment and are costly to implement," said Duncan Brown, lead author of the report, entitled 'Smart Card Systems: Multi-application Technologies and Strategies'.
"Implementers looking to benefit from smart cards need to embrace multi-application technology and offer a suite of applications that appeal to the targeted cardholders. These multi-application systems are emerging as a new delivery channel that creates new business opportunities and requires organisations to change how they view existing business models and partnership strategies," Brown said.
Ovum predicts that by 2004 the number of multiple application smart cards will be 907 million worldwide (30 per cent of all smart cards), up from 44 million in 1999 (7 per cent of smart cards).
Meanwhile, the report notes a trend for implementers of smart cards to become suppliers, citing Telstra - which is selling its multimedia payphone to other telcos - as an example.