With payments fraud growing every year, the pressure is on in markets worldwide to adopt more sophisticated technology to verify the identity of mobile users.
Against that backdrop, the winning technology is fingerprint recognition, with facial-recognition systems presenting a fast-growing alternative, according to the latest study from United Kingdom-based Juniper Research. Driving much of the adoption of these technologies, Juniper says, is the emergence of new security protocols like the major card networks’ 3-D Secure 2.0, which is expected to achieve widespread adoption this year and requires two-factor authentication (for example, something you are in addition to something you have).
Fingerprint readers will be installed in 4.6 billion smart phones worldwide by 2024, Juniper says in results released Tuesday. “Many consumers are now used to making fingerprint-based biometric payments, both for contactless and remote payments,” said James Moar, author of the Juniper research, in a statement. “That familiarity and continued inclusion in smart phones will make it hard to displace in many markets.”
But facial recognition hardware, such as Apple Inc.’s FaceID, is growing fast and will be installed in 800,000 devices by 2024, up from an estimated 96 million now, the report forecasts. Fueled by advances in artificial intelligence, software-based facial-recognition will represent an even bigger market, accounting for 1.3 billion devices within five years, according to the Juniper report.
With software-based facial recognition, an app on the phone can trigger a routine that allows the app to make a positive identification of a user. An example of such technology is a product from a London-based startup called iProov Ltd., Juniper says. The iProov app flashes a varying range of colors on the user’s face in an effort to rule out replicas and photos and establish the user’s identity.
Software-based technology offers better versatility, observers say. “The advantage of software-based systems is they are hardware-independent, working across handsets,” says Aaron McPherson, vice president for research operations at Marlborough, Mass.-based Mercator Advisory Group.