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Research firm pegs big growth in biometric payment cards for 2021 as facial recognition explodes


Shipments of fingerprint sensors are expected to reach 1.26 billion in 2019, a 10.3 percent 5-year CAGR, even as face recognition grows at a much faster rate, according to ABI Research. The company predicts apps featuring facial biometrics will grow at a 26.9 percent CAGR through 2024.

ABI anticipates more in-display fingerprint sensors in smartphones, streamlined iris recognition, and more accurate behavioral recognition among biometric upgrades in the coming years. For biometric payment cards, however, the research firm strikes a more cautionary note, suggesting the market will experience significant growth starting in 2021. Mastercard VP of Identity Solutions Bob Reany declined to go on record with a specific prediction for when the cards will begin to reach the mass market in a recent interview with Biometric Update.

“We have seen all relevant actors and market innovators making all necessary preparations during the last 3 years – educating the public regarding battery-less fingerprint-embedded cards, technologies that allow energy harvesting from nearby terminals, meticulous conformity to EMV specifications, and even addressing issues like tamper-resistant integrated circuits for additional protection of any biometric data contained therein,” comments ABI Research Industry Analyst Dimitrios Pavlakis. “Although most of the supporting technology has indeed reached critical mass there are still a few pricing and operational issues that currently keep many projects in the pilot phase.”

Biometrics will also be used to upgrade security in the automotive market, with face, fingerprint, voice, and iris biometrics being integrated with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and other applications. ABI also sees iris recognition in government and civil services and cryptocurrency wallets secured with biometrics among possible new applications for the auto market. Biometrics for connected cars were prominent among the technologies on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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