The United States’ migration to EMV-standard chip-and-PIN cards, and the growing demand for contactless technologies, defined a high-growth payment card market in 2014, according to the Smart Payment Association (SPA). Preliminary figures, released in advance of the SPA’s annual review of the card payment market, show over 1.5 billion smart payment cards where shipped globally last year, with some 40% featuring contactless ‘tap and go’ technology. The United States, the only major market not to have previously adopted EMV-standard cards, accounted for 185 million card and module shipments as the country makes the transition to chip-and-PIN. This number was significantly higher than the 30 million cards shipped in 2013 – reflecting growing enthusiasm from the country’s regulators, banks and retailers to combat card fraud on a national scale. Contactless technology continued its rapid global growth. In 2014, four out of every ten smart payment cards featured the ‘tap and go’ technology, with SPA members shipping a total of over 600 million contactless payment cards in the year. This figure represents a year on year growth of 35%, with much of the increase driven by Europe and Asia, where contactless cards represented slightly more than 50% of total shipments in 2014. In the US, less than 10% of cards shipped in 2014 featured contactless technology – a figure in line with the maturity of the EMV market.