Luckily, anyone who wants a new credit card will need it

The worldwide shortage of chips is also slowly catching up with smart payment card manufacturers. Market participants say the situation won’t get any better next year either, so they need to be let go to the top of the line if we want to avoid a major upheaval.

The global chip shortage, which has been ongoing since the beginning of the year, has caused disruptions in many areas, from smartphones, PCs or game consoles to the automotive industry. Now it seems that he needs to make friends with the concept of waiting lists in another sector, as disruptions in the semiconductor supply chain threaten to jeopardize the supply of credit cards that most people use on a daily basis for payments.

The Smart Payment Association (SPA), which brings together card and mobile payment service providers, issued a warning last week that bottlenecks in the production of semiconductor products also affect payment card manufacturers, who are already struggling to obtain components that are essential to their business. And as the deficit is only expected to ease next year, optimistic forecasts will be felt by consumers.

It is now essential that the payment cards in question have become essential for everyday life and business transactions. We already use these for almost 90 per cent of non-cash consumer payments, not to mention that they also play a critical role in terms of easy access to cash. It is also eloquent that 40 to 60 percent of online payments are supported directly or indirectly through digital wallets.

More than unpleasant

The reports cite the president of the SPA, who said that if the situation does not improve substantially, the system will soon be missing millions of credit cards worldwide. This will obviously have a direct impact on the consumers concerned, as they will not be able to obtain a credit card for themselves or, even worse, will not be able to renew their existing card. This suddenly eliminates their ability to pay in stores or online, but they cannot withdraw cash with it.

According to SPA data, roughly 3 billion payment cards (or “smart” cards with the right chips) are issued worldwide each year, so it’s easy to imagine that disruptions could affect customer masses even if only a fraction of all users are concerned. The SPA sees that manufacturers of such smart cards will already be severely affected by supply disruptions in the second half of 2021, and their problems will only get worse in 2022.

Not only will this be inconvenient for customers, but the industry organization warns that it can also significantly increase the risk of card fraud. Based on this, it would be up to semiconductor manufacturers to change their priorities in serving orders and, even before the planned capacity expansions, to give priority to their smart card card-making partners over, for example, the smartphone sector.