Mobile biometric payments set to triple in 2017
The number of mobile payments authenticated by biometrics will hit nearly two billion this year, up from just over 600 million in 2016, according to Juniper Research. While Apple Pay provided the catalyst for initial growth, the likes of Android Pay and Samsung Pay are also playing a significant role. The size of the opportunity has been boosted by the greater availability of fingerprint sensors. Around 60% of smartphone models are expected to ship with such sensors this year, with many Chinese vendors incorporating them into mid-range models.
Juniper Research also emphasises the increasing momentum behind alternative biometric solutions. Mastercard is flagged up as an early leader in this space through its Identity Check Mobile capability, due to go live later this year. It also predicts strong adoption of the authentication app recently unveiled by India’s identification authority, through which merchants can verify a customer’s ID via either fingerprint or iris scan (as the biometric data is linked to a bank account, the process acts as both authentication and transaction enabler).
At the same time, however, a key challenge for service providers is striking the right balance between end-user convenience and solution security. Juniper Research’s Dr Windsor Holden comments: “Typically, the more secure the solution, the more time-consuming the authentication process. It is essential to offer a range of verification options allowing clients to determine what level of security is required for a given authentication.”