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Lux Research report finds mobile payments require biometrics to increase adoption


Lux Research has released a new report entitled “Securing Mobile Payments with Biometric Authentication”, which suggests that current mobile payment systems will need to integrate biometrics in order to increase adoption and meet expectations of high growth rates.

The research finds that a combination of biometric technologies operating on smartphones offers the best opportunity of reaching growth rates of over 200% in 2016.

“Companies developing biometric authentication products need to build partnerships or innovate and consider multimodal biometric platforms to stay in the game,” said Tiffany Huang, Lux Research associate and lead author of the report. “It is hard to see one biometric usage winning in the medium- to far-term.”

For its research, Lux Research analysts evaluated key biometric technologies and rated them on various metrics including cost, usability and security, in order to assess how they impact each player in the mobile payment ecosystem.

The report showed that palm vein is the most secure technology, however, its high cost is a significant barrier.

Palm vein sensors would be optimal for mobile purchases at a physical point of sale but are prohibitively expensive.

In comparison, fingerprint and behavioral sensors achieved higher ratings, but their adoption is low on account of the low maturity of behavioral developers, according to the findings.

Additionally, the report states that iris scan is ideal for online purchases since it only takes less than a second to complete on a wireless application protocol (WAP).

However, the high cost of iris scan limits its adoption, and the required sensors are not found on most mobile devices, the report said.

The report finds that a combination of facial and behavioral sensors places second, overall, in ease of use.

Short messaging service (SMS)-based payments rated high in user ease, but rated low in security.

When it comes to WAP, iris scan is the ideal solution for SMS but high usability from other devices can be a threat, the report said.

Finally, multimodal biometrics, in which technologies like facial, voice and behavioral scans are integrated, can be competitive as well.

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