Biometric Transactions to Reach Five Billion by 2019: Report

Biometric Transactions to Reach Five Billion by 2019: ReportThe rise of mPayment platforms is going to dramatically increase the number of transactions based on biometric authentication over the next few years. According to a new report from Juniper Research, transactions authenticated via biometrics will rise from a little less than 130 million this year to five billion by 2019.

While only Apple Pay and Samsung Pay currently rely on biometric authentication, and they’re only available in a few countries, they are expected to expand rapidly around the world over the next year, and Juniper’s researchers believe that “the convenience of the scanner is likely to make it a primary mechanism for transaction authentication,” as they put it in a report synopsis. Moreover, fingerprint scanners are becoming increasingly ubiquitous further down the smartphone spectrum, with mid-range devices now following the high-end smartphones’ lead in integrating them. Together with the spread of compatible NFC technology at merchant POS terminals, Juniper Research argues, that will help “to drive further adoption in the medium term.”

There are obstacles to beware of, though. Juniper’s researchers note that hack attacks could see biometric data “irretrievably compromised,” since it can’t be reset or changed the way a traditional PIN or password can. As such, tokenization is “becoming an increasingly attractive proposition for acquirers and processors.” Indeed, just this week Fujitsu researchers announced that they had developed a new system of encrypting biometric data that could drastically reduce the threat of interception and capture – a potentially major security tool for the whole biometric industry. Tokenization is already a major security tool with respect to user payment data – a central security component in Android Pay, which currently doesn’t require fingerprint authentication – so it certainly seems to be a valuable proposition to combine it with the biometric security already prominent and on the rise in the world of mPayments.

October 27, 2015 – by Alex Perala