Higher value chip-based cards used in mobile phones and other electronic transactions as well as expanded production in the Asia-Pacific region led market growth as more than 30 billion cards were manufactured worldwide in 2011, adds the report.

However, the report points out, the global card market will experience somewhat slower growth through 2015 and traditional magnetic cards will continue to be replaced by chip while smartphone apps and NFC technology will impact growth beyond 2015.

"The global plastic card market remains very strong in the mobile phone, financial, government/health and gift card market segments and we can expect continued growth in these segments for the next few years," says Al Vrancart, ICMA industry advisor and founder emeritus.

The report also states that Asia-Pacific leads as the largest producer of cards, with more than 10 billion cards manufactured in 2011. North America was second with 8.6 billion units, with Europe in the third position with 5 billion and Middle East Africa in fourth with 4.2 billion cards produced. Latin America stayed close to last year's figures at 1.9 billion units manufactured.