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Report predicts 579m biometric payment cards will be in use by 2023

There will be over 2.6 billion biometric payment users and 579 million biometric payment cards in use by 2023, new research suggests.

According to Goode Intelligence’s latest research, Biometrics for Payments; Market and Technology Analysis, Adoption Strategies and Forecasts 2018-2023, biometrics has become an important tool in the fight against fraud in almost all of the channels that payment is supported. 

The 320-page report said the use of biometrics is being driven by several factors including a desire for frictionless authentication while paying in all channels, the need to reduce payment fraud, changing industry and state regulation, and technology standardisation.

Alan Goode, founder and CEO of Goode Intelligence and author of the report, commented: “From ATMs, smartphones, biometric payment cards, connected cars, smart home devices and the latest wearable devices that support electro cardio graphic (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.”

Goode said examples of this 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,” Goode added.

“The changing face of retail stores that automates checkout and payment will increasingly rely on biometric technology to enable fast frictionless automated payments.”

According to the report, the use of embedded biometric technology in wearable technology could also enable high value transactions using these means.

Apple now supports ECG biometric technology in its latest Watch Series 4, and Goode said that could mean the tech giant enables ECG-based biometric authentication on its smartwatches in time. Goode Intelligence predicts this will happen during 2019 with other wearable OEMs following suit later in 2019 and into 2020.