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Biometrics to enable $2.5tn of mobile payments by 2024

Juniper Research study predicts that biometric technology will be present on 90% of smartphones in five years’ time

Biometric authentication will be used to secure $2.5tn worth of mobile payment transactions by 2024 – an increase of almost 1,000% on the $228bn expected to be transacted via mobile by the end of 2019, says a new study from Juniper Research.

The report, Mobile payment authentication & data security: encryption, tokenisation, biometrics 2019-2024, found that, fundamentally, generic hardware biometrics, rather than usage standards, are driving awareness and leading to the uptake of biometrics to mobile browsers.

The study found that the availability of dedicated biometric hardware will not be an obstacle to biometric usage, predicting that it will be present on about 90% of smartphones by 2024. However, Juniper expects less than 30% of these phones to be used to authenticate contactless payments, thanks to the presence of contactless cards.

In terms of the likely key technologies, the report found that the use of facial recognition, whether hardware- or software-based, is gaining ground on fingerprint-based payment authentication. Juniper believes that because of the ubiquity of smartphone cameras and the ability to utilise software-based biometrics as a service platform, facial techs will reach a similar level of usage to dedicated hardware biometrics over the next five years.

“Biometrics has traditionally been used for in-person contactless payments,” said research author James Moar. “However, with an increase in the need for smooth authentication on all m-commerce channels, we anticipate over 60% of biometrically  verified payments will be made remotely by 2024.”

However, the report shows that remote payments will mostly be confined to Android devices, because iOS does not currently support WebAuthn authentication. Therefore, biometrics’ use for mobile payments on non-iOS devices is predicted to grow at twice the rate of that of iOS devices.

The report notes that several payment standards and protocols will come into force in the future that will increase the use of mobile biometrics. In particular, it predicts that the 3D Secure 2.0 standard’s requirement for two-factor authentication will drive merchants to adopt biometrics to make the payment experience smoother across a variety of platforms.

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