Biometric authentication app downloads to reach 770 million by 2019

More than 770 million biometric authentication applications will be downloaded per annum by 2019, up from just 6 million this year. This will reduce dependence on alphanumeric passwords in the mobile phone market.

Juniper Research found that a number of high-profile deployments of biometric authentication techniques would drive wider adoption. It highlighted Apple’s combination of Apple’s Touch ID authentication allied to tokenization in NFC payments as a key case in this regard.

Fingerprint authentication will account for the overwhelming majority of such apps in the medium term, driven by increasing deployment of fingerprint scanners within mid-range smartphones. However, Juniper Research found that other forms of biometric identification that do not require embedded hardware are also emerging, such as Descartes Biometrics’ ERGO ear print biometric authentication app and Nuance’s voice authentication service.

A key benefit of biometrics is its capability to enhance accessibility by reducing rejection rates of authentication systems. In addition to the enhanced security, biometric applications can improve the user experience by making it low friction and easy for the consumer to make transactions.

As consumers seek to reduce the likelihood of their social media profiles being hacked, service providers such as Facebook may turn to facial scanning to add value through increased authentication security.

There’s a real need to reassure consumers of the security of biometric technologies over alphanumeric authentication, and significant public education would be necessary for this potential of the technologies to be realized.

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