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January 20, 2015updated 21 Oct 2016 5:29pm

App downloads for biometric authentication to surge

Industry will move beyond fingerprints and combine token and NFC technologies

By Sam

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

A report from Juniper research titled Human Interface & Biometric Technologies: Emerging Ecosystems, Opportunities & Forecasts 2014-2019 – 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 tokenisation in NFC payments as a key case in this regard.
It argued that fingerprint authentication would account for the overwhelming majority of such apps in the medium term, driven by increasing deployment of fingerprint scanners within mid-range smartphones.

However, the report 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.
Biometrics ‘Reduces Rejection Rates’

A key benefit of biometrics identified by the report was its capability to enhance accessibility by reducing rejection rates of authentication systems. It argued that 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.

The report also claimed that 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.

However the report cautioned that there was a real need to reassure consumers of the security of biometric technologies over alphanumeric authentication and warned that significant public education would be necessary for this potential of the technologies to be realised.

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