Industry insiders have warned of potential difficulties this year in renewing bank cards, due to a worldwide shortage of certain components used in them.
Linxens, which makes most of the ‘micro’ or ‘semi’ connectors needed to make cards’ chips work, used to have chips delivered to it in three months, but latterly it has taken six months to obtain them.
This is likely to rise to up to 12 this year, CEO Cuong H. Duong told French media.
In turn, this will mean delays in supplying the chipped cards to banks, meaning some clients will be unable to have a new card in time for their old card’s expiry date.
It comes as the Smart Payment Association, which represents the largest makers of payment cards, such as French companies Thalès and Idemia, also sounded the alarm last year, saying “without improvement millions of cards will be lacking”.
Its president, Jacques Doucerain, said in a statement that “everywhere in the world customers are not going to be able to get hold of a card, or renew one.”
It has been suggested banks could prolong cards’ validity, but this is said to be technically difficult to do.
Slowing down of production in some Asian factories due to the pandemic is one reason given for the shortages.