Apps

Mobile biometric payments to triple in 2017

Biometric mobile payments will rise to nearly two billion this year.
Biometric mobile payments will rise to nearly two billion this year.

The number of mobile payments authenticated by biometrics will rise to nearly two billion this year, up from just over 600 million in 2016.

This is according to a new report from Juniper Research, titled "Mobile Payment Security: Biometric Authentication & Tokenisation 2017-2021".

The research found that while Apple Pay provided the catalyst for initial growth, other leading mobile wallets, including Android Pay and Samsung Pay, are increasingly offering biometric solutions for payment authentication.

"The size of the mobile payments 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," says the report.

However, Juniper argues the key challenge for service providers would be striking the right balance between end-user convenience and solution security.

Research author Dr Windsor Holden says:"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."

Despite elevated uncertainty on how the biometric payment market will evolve in the next few years, expectations are positive. A report by research firm BBVA Research estimates that by 2020, biometrics will be used to authenticate almost 65% of all m-commerce transactions.

"In addition, global mobile biometric revenues are expected to increase to $34.6 billion from $1.6 billion in 2014, with 35% being authenticated via mobile devices and 65% via apps downloaded by consumers. Other estimates indicate the global biometrics technology market will reach $22 billion by 2020, up from $11.2 billion in 2015 and $4.2 billion in 2010," says BBVA Research.

Last month,MasterCard introduced payment cards with biometric capabilities, which it first trialled with supermarket retailer Pick n Pay and Absa employees. The biometric payment cards combine chip technology with fingerprints to verify the cardholder's identity for in-store purchases.

"Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics," says Ajay Bhalla, president, enterprise risk and security at MasterCard. "Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security. It's not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected," adds Bhalla.

Towards the end of the year, MasterCard is expected to unveil the Identity Check Mobile capability, also known as the "selfie pay", according to Juniper Research. The payment application allows users to scan their fingerprints and/or take selfies to validate their identities and thereby make mobile payments.

Have your say
Facebook icon
Youtube play icon