Juniper Research has released a new study that suggests that the number of people that use facial recognition software to authorize digital payments will double in the next few years. The firm estimates that 671 million people were already making payments with facial recognition in 2020, and believes that that number will grow to 1.4 billion by 2025.
According to Juniper, those adoption rates can be attributed to the growing ubiquity of front-facing cameras in mobile devices, which in turn makes it much easier for people to take advantage of face-based authentication software. Juniper credited Face ID for kicking off the trend, though virtually every major smartphone now offers some form of facial recognition.
The findings build on an earlier Juniper report that looked at biometric authentication more generally. That report indicated that biometric modalities would be used to authorize $3 trillion worth of transactions by 2025, with Juniper arguing that payment providers will need to support some form of biometric authentication to compete and retain their customers.
Juniper went on to note that the ready availability of facial recognition software will slow the rollout of hardware-based facial recognition technology. However, the firm warned that facial recognition providers will need to embrace more robust hardware solutions in order to prevent spoofing as deepfake technology continues to improve.
In that regard, the Juniper study did find growing support for fingerprint and voice authentication in the modern payments ecosystem. A full 93 percent of the smartphones with biometric capabilities will feature a fingerprint sensor by 2025 (compared to the 17 percent with dedicated facial recognition hardware), while 704 million people will be confirming transactions with voice recognition. That number is up from 111 million in 2020, with voice recognition being particularly popular in the banking industry.
Juniper’s latest findings echo its 2020 Mobile Payment Authentication report, which predicted that face and fingerprint recognition hardware would be available in 800 million and 4.6 billion devices, respectively, in 2024.
April 13, 2021 – by Eric Weiss