Biometric Mobile Payments Set To Explode In 2017

Mobile payments using biometrics to authenticate the user is forecasted to reach close to $2 billion in 2017, up from $600 million last year, according to new data from Juniper Research.

According to a report covering the new research, driving the movement to biometrics payments is Apple Pay, which paved the way for consumers to make payments in stores and on apps using fingerprints. Android Pay and Samsung Pay helped drive adoption further with their own biometrics capabilities, noted the report.

In addition to that, the growth of biometric payments is being helped by the growing availability of fingerprint sensors on smartphones and tablets. Juniper found that around 60 percent of smartphones are expected to launch with fingerprint sensors this year. And it’s not only in high-end phones. Juniper Research found that Chinese manufacturers are including fingerprint sensors in mid-range smartphones as well.

At the same time that fingerprint payments are expected to rise, so are payments via selfies. The report pointed to Mastercard’s Identity Check Mobile service, which is slated to go live later in 2017 and lets users scan their fingerprints or take a selfie to authenticate their identity and make a payment. After a beta launch in 2016, Mastercard polled users and discovered that 74 percent of respondents said biometrics like fingerprints or selfies were easier to use than typing in a password. What’s more, 90 percent said they think they would use biometrics for online payments in the future because they see it as a more secure method.

With so much buzz surrounding biometric authentication, it should come as no surprise that several companies looked to increase and improve the biometric options they offered over the past few months. HYPR, for example, debuted what it is calling a biometric shopping platform at the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show in New York City in January. The platform is designed to help retailers combat an uptick in online retail fraud, caused largely by ineffective or stolen password credentials.

Meanwhile, biometric technology helped Kuwait’s Gulf Bank pick up a pair of trophies at the World Finance Awards last month,where the bank was recognized with the Best Digital Bank and Best Mobile Banking App awards. The company introduced biometric features to their app last year and credited those new features to winning the pair of awards.