The number of biometrically authenticated transactions could reach nearly five billion by 2019, according to a new study by Juniper Research.

With the rollout of contactless payment services using fingerprint scanners, including Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, Juniper is predicting a surge in biometrically authenticated payments – significantly up on the circa 130 million expected to be conducted this year.

Juniper's research observed that Apple Pay and Samsung Pay's growth from a limited number of markets to multiple international territories over the next 12 months is set to make it a primary mechanism for transaction authentication, and help encourage wider adoption. Indeed, Apple announced this week that Apple Pay will be launched in Australia and Canada before the end of 2015, with Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong set to welcome the technology in 2016.

Details of this emerging way to pay for goods is analysed in Juniper's Mobile Identity, Authentication & Tokenisation 2015-2020.

Although highlighting biometric payment's growth potential, Juniper analyst and author of the research, Dr Windsor Holden, warned that the implications of not ensuring secure storage could be very serious.

"When a password or PIN is hacked, the consumer can simply get a replacement," he said.

"When biometric data – fingerprint, iris, facial – is stolen, the consumer's online identity could be irretrievably compromised."

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Juniper Research