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UK falling behind European smart card pack

Sales of smart cards are set to surge in Europe, but not in the UK, as pay-TV, banking, and GSM-based 'pay as you go' Internet services give the market a boost, said Frost and Sullivan in a recent report.The market intelligence specialist also predicted France and Germany will be the smart card leaders of the pack.

Sales of smart cards are set to surge in Europe, but not in the UK, as pay-TV, banking, and GSM-based 'pay as you go' Internet services give the market a boost, said Frost and Sullivan in a recent report.

The market intelligence specialist also predicted France and Germany will be the smart card leaders of the pack. It valued the European smart card market at $861 million in 1996, and say it will grow to $2.4 billion by 2003, with the UK predicted to be in fourth place after Germany, France and Italy for smart card consumption. The UK figures will receive a boost when London Transport introduces smart cards on the tube later this year, and a number of banks trial smart cards in the Autumn.

According to the report, "the traditional prepaid telephone card (token memory card) has been migrating towards third generation phonecards based on the Eurochip, and TG2 (wired logic cards). Thus, sales of token memory cards are forecast to decrease as the sales within the secure and memory segment increase".