- The number of mobile payments verified by biometrics will hit close to 2 billion in 2017, nearly a 3x jump from just over 600 million transactions last year, according to a new report by Juniper Research.
- Though Apple Pay was an initial key driver of growth in the space, competitors including Android Pay and Samsung Pay are also introducing biometric solutions for authentication, the research group said. Alternative solutions like "selfie pay," where users can use fingerprints or take selfies to verify their identities and make payments, were pointed to as increasingly important.
- Juniper further noted more widespread availability of smartphones with fingerprint sensors could accelerate use, especially with mid-range vendors in large markets like China. Sixty percent of smartphone models are forecast to ship with fingerprint sensors this year.
Consumers have expressed a willingness to experiment more with biometrics solutions, which might be surprising given that key application areas for the technology like mobile payments have stalled out considerably of late. A recent survey from EyeVerify found that nearly 80% of respondents who have already tried biometrics want more authentication methods beyond basic fingerprint capabilities when it comes to mobile payments or banking apps.
One brand highlighted by Juniper as a potential early leader for alternative solutions is Mastercard, which is planning to launch an Identity Check Mobile feature later this year. Mastercard recently announced plans to buy NuData Security, a firm that analyzes biometric indicators to fight fraud.
Despite providing a strong forecast for the rest of 2017, Juniper cautioned that developers and brands must strike a fine balance between the convenience of a biometrics service and its security.
"Typically, the more secure the solution, the more time-consuming the authentication process," Dr. Windsor Holden, an author of the report, said in a statement. "It is essential to offer a range of verification options allowing clients to determine what level of security is required for a given authentication."
Though fraud and theft are a top concern for analysts, consumers seem slightly less worried. The same EyeVerify study noted 78% of respondents view mobile apps with biometrics capabilities as more secure than apps without them; 82% said biometrics are safer than traditional passwords for activities like mobile payments and banking.