Future mobile payments to rely on software biometrics

Fintech Innovation editors
04 Sep 2018

Juniper Research predicts that future mobile payments will rely more heavily on software security. The researcher forecasts that users of these methods will increase from an estimated 429 million in 2018 to over 1.5 billion in 2023. Juniper believes that this will usher in an era where mobile payments authentication utilizes multiple biometrics based on people’s device usage patterns.

The increased reliance on software-based biometric security suggests that in mobile payments can be done with even the most basic smartphone as all that is needed is a camera or microphone – standard smartphone components – to perform the authentication.

The new research found that the use of software-based biometrics, such as that offered by voice or facial recognition, will fuel growth in smartphone mobile payments across all price ranges. The hardware-agnostic nature of this will be key to driving adoption, increasing biometrically authenticated transactions at an average of 76% per annum globally. It predicts the major growth for this will come from Asia, with North American usage growing at just 46% per year.

“Mobile payment security will broaden hugely thanks to the implementation of pure software solutions,” remarked report author James Moar. “The key battle now will be to convince users, particularly those in Europe and North America, that these methods are just as secure as traditional hardware-based security.”

The Juniper Research white paper, 3 Steps to Prepare for Multimodal Biometric Payments, predicts the software-led trend will give rise to biometrics-as-a-service.

The researcher said several companies are already providing biometrics-as-a-service or identity-as-a-service. These players have multimodal biometric authentication, as well as some behavioral verification, as the next steps in their offering.

Juniper believes biometrics-as-a-service is where true multimodal biometrics will have their biggest impact. As behavioral verification data can be passively collected, there are no additional barriers to convenience compared to conventional authentication.

The increase in software-based biometrics will also mean that fingerprint sensor use will become much more contextual, rather than the default biometric option.

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