Acuity report forecasts biometric ID credentials to reach one billion a year by 2022

Acuity Market Intelligence has published new research that predicts that by 2022, annual production of biometric “physical” identity credentials will peak at more than one billion a year.

These biometric identity credentials — which include ePassports, national identity cards, and driver’s licenses — will eventually be replaced by next generation “virtual” credentials securely stored in mobile devices and accessed via biometric authentication.

The research goes on to state that by 2030, today’s standard identity credentials will be completely obsolete.

“The platform driving this transformation is being rolled out today. More than 220 biometrically enabled smartphone models are currently on the market,” said Maxine Most, Acuity Market Intelligence principal and lead analyst. “By 2018, all smartphones will include biometrics and by 2020, feature phones will be obsolete. The global deployment of this platform is the tipping point for full-scale adoption of digital identity.”

Many US states have already begun evaluating smartphone based driver’s licenses. The Australian government has launched similar initiatives, along with considering the implementation of “passport free” travel.

In addition, Austria has a virtual national ID that can be loaded onto smart cards or mobile devices, and India’s UIDAI announced it has transitioned to Aadhaar-enable smartphones.

“Biometric-based virtual credentials will also eliminate the need for separate payment mechanisms,” said Most. “By 2025, biometric authentication will be standard for trillions of annual payments and information transactions and by 2030 physical payment mechanisms such as debit and credit cards will become inconvenient and increasingly not accepted. Secure, anonymous biometric authentication will replace multiple forms of identification and payment mechanisms.”

Previously reported, Acuity Market Intelligence released new research that finds that the combination of turbulent world events and the proliferation of innovative, disruptive biometric and mobile technology is driving the evolution of digital identity for commerce, payments, the enterprise, and civil applications.

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