IMS Research has launched a new report predicting that within five years 90% of passport holders will be using e-passports with integrated smart card IC chips.
According to the report, “Electronic Government and Health Care ID Cards – World – 2011,” nearly half of all current passports issued today use smart chip technology, thanks to a rapid migration started in 2007.
“This trend is set to continue,” stated report author Alex Green. “There are still a few countries around the world that are not yet issuing e-passports. However, most have started and with the typical five to ten year replacement rates for passports, it is only a matter of time before all passports in circulation are e-passports.”
The report goes on to examine the use of biometrics in e-passports, which is still largely limited to a digital image of the holders face stored on the IC.
Green says this will change: “By 2014, the situation is forecast to have been reversed. By this time the majority of passports being issued will also include additional biometric data such a one or more finger print, iris scans, etc.”
According to IMS, the report covers the e-passport market for 40 countries, as well as national ID cards, health care cards, electronic driver’s licenses and a number of other government issued cards.