Security documents poised for digital revolution, latest Smithers research finds

Security documents poised for digital revolution, latest Smithers research finds

LEATHERHEAD, Surrey, UK and AKRON, Ohio, USA – August 5, 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic could make 2021 a pivotal year for the implementation of digital identity concepts, according to the new study – The Future of Security Documents in a Digital Age to 2026 – from Smithers.

Published today, it reports that with trillions of dollars already invested, the market for digital identity and virtual payment concepts is set to evolve rapidly across the period 2021-2026.

COVID-19 has provided a double impetus to the market. First infection control has raised demand for digital credentials for non-contact security verification of payments, and e-commerce trade. Second, the need to balance residual infection risks against a return to normal business operations, and travel has led to the emergence of multiple digital ‘vaccine passports,’ such as the EU’s Green Certificate introduced on 1 July 2021.

This is reshaping the commercial landscape for security printers and specialist material suppliers radically. In response many are investing in new software and service-based post-issuance business units. Smithers’ analysis assesses requirements for these critically from the perspective of security material companies (inks, substrates, machinery, security features), high security printers, state printing works, central banks, and brand owners.

The main changes and challenges it identifies within this transition are:
  • New competition from big tech companies in the payment and digital identity space, especially for mobile payment and ID concepts
  • The implementation of the first central bank digital currencies, allowing governments to face down the threat of unregulated private cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Ethereum), and increase financial inclusion and tax revenue
  • Successfully implementing harmonised mobile-based digital identity apps, for both physical and virtual verification, with secure credentials based on biometrics
  • A booming interest in smart digital track-and-trace solutions to protect against counterfeit goods in e-commerce channels; and safeguard vital products, such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals. There will also be the challenge of tighter integration with smart logistics and inventory platforms, including the use of Blockchain to impart item-level tracking for more valuable items
  • Governments using more digital tax stamps to give an extra dimension of insight into supply of goods like alcohol and tobacco – maximising revenue and protecting against grey market imports
  • A faster adoption of digital non-contact tickets for mass transit systems
  • For private-sector organisations, there will be an elevated demand for securing supply chains via secure digital records and documents, as businesses in multiple industries implement smart ERP platforms, minimise staff social interactions, and transition towards hybrid home-office working patterns.
Each of these trends is examined in turn, combined with analysis of the current technical state-of-the-art and real world case studies. This is supplemented by profiles of leading digital enabling technologies, drawn from both within and outside the traditional security printing arena.
With a foundation in Smithers’ authoritative market studies for the physical security print market, The Future of Security Documents in a Digital Age to 2026 provides a vital business strategy tool for negotiating this increasingly complex, and potentially, lucrative digital market space.

Find out more

Download The Future of Security Documents in a Digital Age to 2026 brochure

Latest Resources

See all resources