Governments digital identity credentials to reach 5 billion by 2024 backed by mobile biometrics

The number of people using government-issued digital identity credentials is expected to grow by 150 percent from 1.7 billion this year to more than 5 billion by 2024, according to a new report on mobile biometric technologies, digital identity apps, and civic digital identity from Juniper Research.

Mobile ID schemes are taking over the position of digital identity cards, and a third more people will use the former than the latter within five years, the report ‘Digital Identity: Technology Evolution, Regulatory Analysis & Forecasts 2019-2024” says. Countries without legacy systems are following Estonia’s lead to rapidly develop digital identity systems.

Malawi is given as an example, with almost 12 million people expected to have digital identities in the country by 2022, while other countries in Africa, led by Nigeria, will supply digital identity in app or card form to an expected 420 million people on the continent. Malawi’s national biometric ID system was recently implemented for KYC checks by FDH Bank.

In North America and Europe, the digital identity credential market will be led by the financial services sector and digital driver’s licenses, Juniper says, after many people in developed countries rejected national schemes.

Several digital identity platforms totaling more than 1 billion users by 2023 will leverage mobile single sign-on, generating more than $5 billion a year in revenues, according to the research. Blockchain and self-sovereign identity systems are expected to play a modest role in this future ecosystem, despite 35 percent average annual growth. In 2023, less than 10 percent of dedicated identity apps are expected to be blockchain-based.

“We expect strong growth in blockchain-based digital identity solutions over the next five years,” remarks research author James Moar. “However, with simpler apps being quick to develop and almost indistinguishable from a user perspective, companies and operators will need to be the ones to drive the use of self-sovereign identity forward.”

Goode Intelligence recently forecasted digital identity and document verification will be a $15 billion market by 2024.

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