Mobile biometric technology is shaking up the global payments market. According to a new report from Acuity Market Intelligence, by 2020 mobile biometric systems will be used to authenticate almost 65 percent of global mCommerce transactions.
That means disruptive change for the mCommerce market. Acuity says that within the forecast period there will be 126 billion transactions conducted using biometric authentication, and that they’ll generate $1.1 trillion in mCommerce purchases. Moreover, Acuity predicts that the total volume of biometric transactions, whether for payments or non-payment activities, will surpass 800 million a year by 2020, with 35 percent authenticated via mobile and 65 percent authenticated on downloadable apps.
As with any disruptive new technology, it will bring benefits to the affected industry while also threatening well-establish interests. For example, the security offered via mobile biometrics will boost the sheer number of transactions undertaken; but at the same time, according to lead analyst Maxine Most, it “has the potential to totally disintermediate traditional payment methods, such as credit and debit cards, out of the payment marketplace.”
That’s a bold assertion, but it’s undeniable that there are major changes underway in the mPayment space, not least of which being the emergence of mobile-based mPayment platforms. The current market leader, Apple Pay, is mostly used for relatively minor in-store purchases with participating merchants – at least for now – but looming competitors like Alipay seem to have something more ambitious in mind. Meanwhile, exciting apps like ZoOm are enabling highly secure biometric authentication on virtually any contemporary device, which will further spur mobile biometrics’ infiltration of the mCommerce space. All of that could leave traditional mCommerce enablers in the lurch, but as the ancient curse goes, ‘May you live in interesting times.”