Research firm Goode Intelligence predicts that there will be over 2.6 billion biometric payment users by 2023
The firm said the use of biometrics is being driven by a number of factors including:
- · Desire for frictionless authentication while paying in all channels
- · The need to reduce payment fraud
- · Industry and state regulation
- · Technology standardisation
Alan Goode, founder and CEO of Goode Intelligence and author of the report, said “With biometrics taking a prominent role in Money 20/20 in Las Vegas this timely research identifies that across all payment channels, old or new; from ATMs, smartphones, biometric payment cards, connected cars, smart home devices and the latest wearable devices that support ECG, biometrics is becoming the only solution to improve customer experience and to reduce payment fraud.
“In addition, pilots of ‘Naked Biometric Payments’ are underway where a consumer does not have to use a payment token; a card, a wearable or a smartphone. After enrolling their biometric data in the payment scheme, the consumer simply authorises payments by presenting their enrolled biometric. Examples include Alipay’s trial of a facial recognition payment solution in selected KFC stores and FingoPay rolling out their finger-vein technology to business school cafeterias in Sweden and small grocery retailers in the UK. These types of solutions can be also used for identity verification in physical locations to support age verification without the need to carry around a driver’s licence or a passport. The changing face of retail stores that automates checkout and payment will increasingly rely on biometric technology to enable fast frictionless automated payments.”
Contactless card payments are seeing significant growth in regions that support them. The UK in particular has embraced this technology with contactless payment cards overtaking contact cards for physical retail payments. Contactless card payments are even outperforming mobile in many regions. Many consumers prefer to use a contactless payment card over a mobile payment equivalent and according to Goode Intelligence research, would like to use cards in contactless mode for higher value transactions. Biometric payment cards not only offer improved security by removing the PIN but also allow frictionless payments for higher value transactions. Goode Intelligence believes that there is a significant market opportunity for biometric payment cards and forecasts that by 2023 there will be almost 579 million biometric payment cards in use around the world.
Alongside this, there has been a steady rise in the use of wearable devices, predominantly smart watches, for payment activity. The most widely adopted wearable payment solution is Apple Pay on Apple Watch. This does not currently use biometric technology for authentication and authorisation and mimics a contactless card transaction. In doing so it is usually restricted to a low transaction value around £30.00 or €30.00. With biometric payment cards enabling higher transaction values for card-based contactless payments then the use of embedded biometric technology in wearables could also enable high value transactions.
The news that Apple now supports ECG biometric technology in its latest Watch Series 4 could mean that Apple will enable ECG-based biometric authentication on these watches and support higher value wearable payments. Goode Intelligence predicts that this will happen during 2019 with other wearable OEMs following suit later in 2019 and into 2020.
The firm has said its 320 page report is the most comprehensive analysis of biometric payments to date.