More than 450 million contactless cards were delivered by Smart Payment Association (SPA) members in 2013 in over 30 countries worldwide, nearly twice the quantity that was shipped in 2012.

The SPA in its annual review of the smart payment card market, reported that contactless technologies were present on over one-third (37%) of all smart payment cards shipped during 2013.

Asia Pacific region witnessed the highest increase in contactless payment card shipments, where it rose by 193% against 2013, while Americas and Western Europe experienced 45% and 64% increase, respectively.

The figure indicates that the reason behind the contactless payment card shipments growth was consumer and retailer hunger for the convenience and to tap the opportunities presented by contactless payment industry.

Shipments of dual interface cards, incorporating both chip and PIN and contactless technologies, increased by 115% in 2013, mainly backed by growth in Asia and Europe.

Subsequently, dual interface cards now represent 94% of all contactless shipments, according to the SPA data.

The report also highlights that more and more countries are embracing contactless payment technologies by upgrading and installing contact payment infrastructures, including terminals and POS.

The EMV has emerged as established, global, secure and interoperable infrastructure with NFC operating as a contactless extension that’s paving the way for today’s fast evolving connected world.

Smart Payment Association president Sylvie Gibert said, "The data from this report reveals a growing hunger by consumers for the convenience and immediacy of contactless payment, and issuers are responding with innovative payment options, including those with transit features that put them ‘top of wallet."

"The acceleration of contactless payments is, in turn, fuelling demand for mobile payments via NFC, which in itself represents a major mass market transition."