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Smart technologies critical to transforming security printing and brand protection into $45 billion market by 2026

Friday, April 08, 2016

Press release from the issuing company

LEATHERHEAD, Surrey, UK – Smithers Pira publishes new report, Ten-Year Forecast of Disruptive Technologies in Security Printing and Brand Protection to 2026. The product of extensive primary research this identifies, analyses and contextualises the top ten emergent technologies that will disrupt and transform the security print industry over the next decade.

By 2026, the combined global market for security printing and brand protection is estimated to exceed $45 billion, up from $27 billion today. The proportion of personalisation and digital machine-readable technologies is expected to increase dramatically as a result of the emergence of several disruptive technologies. Simultaneously a significant market for data management solutions will be established, thanks to end-users demanding – and vendors developing – secure technologies for bridging physical security to data analytics in the Cloud.

The smartphone is rapidly becoming the digital medium of choice to store and use travel, event, payment and identification documents and credentials, thus displacing the physical medium that is the livelihood of the security printing industry. Globally the number of users is modest, but it is highly dynamic area and has the greatest disruptive potential according to Smithers' in-depth survey of industry experts.

Smartphone verification using handset fingerprint scanners, or facial recognition software – selfie pay – aligns with another disruptive trend profiled by Smithers – the rise of biometric verification. Biometrics, while not directly a security print technology, has over the last 15 years dramatically changed the landscape of how an individual’s identity is verified – a trend that will continue to 2026.

As this happens, security print firms will need to build new skills and capabilities, including via mergers and acquisitions to meet this evolving demand. The rise of data analytics and an increasingly online world for financial and security processes create a similar impetus for the industry – as well as new tools for counterfeiters. 

Smart devices will also play an increasingly important role in anticounterfeit packaging and brand protection explains report author Rudie Lion.

He says: “Smartphone technology is only in its infancy with apps that can scan barcodes and QR codes.” The future focus will be on the evolution of covert QR codes, digital watermark technology and a new generation of cheap electronic connectivity to exploit fully the smartphone’s disruptive potential in brand protection packaging.”

Polymer banknotes will continue to increase market share over the next decade with a rising number of countries switching from traditional cotton paper substrates. The UK will join the trend on 2 September 2016 with the issue of its new £5 note featuring Winston Churchill.

The advantages of polymer substrate currency include durability, environmental friendliness, anti-counterfeiting success, and ultimately lifecycle cost. Smithers’ analysis shows that it is unlikely to fully displace paper banknotes over the 2016-2026 study period. It will however prompt innovation in coating and varnishes for paper currency, clean note policies, automated teller machines (ATMs) and banknote processing equipment; as well as the design and authentication of banknotes.


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