Biometric passport market predicted to increase by 18 percent this year

The number of ePassports with integrated biometric technology will grow by 18 percent in 2019, according to a new report from Future Market Insights (FMI).

The report forecasts the number of ePassports issued will grow by 19 percent in 2019 from nearly 264,000 last year. Growth in the market is being driven by protocols being implemented by ICAO, ACI, IATA, and other regulatory bodies to improve border security, as well as by smart airport initiatives leveraging biometrics and other technologies, according to FMI. The relatively high price of ePassports and a lack of infrastructure in some markets represent the main barriers to growth.

The introduction of read-write functionality in the ICAO’s local data structure 2 (LDS2) format has encouraged new concepts for passenger information collection and use, while FMI says that demand for counterfeit and stolen passports is rising, necessitating stronger security systems. It is hoped that the use of biometric ePassports will also speed up airport screening processes, and the UK government moved late last year to enable travelers from several “>non-EU countries to use facial recognition checks with ePassports at the country’s airports to reduce lineups.

The report identifies key players in the global ePassport market including Gemalto, HiD Global, Entrust Datacard, and IDEMIA. Europe is expected to lead the market in 2019, but the market in East Asia will grow faster than in other regions.

RFID technology is present in more than 207,000 ePassport units sold in 2018, or roughly 78 percent of total ePassports issued, according to the report. The total passport market is expected to grow at 22.1 percent CAGR from 2018 through 2028, to more than $19.5 billion.

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