Biometric access control market enters pivotal phase for both physical and logical

Biometric access control market enters pivotal phase for both physical and logical

Access control and authentication systems and services fall into two categories: physical and logical. Most analysts combine the two categories under the generic heading of access control.  Each has seen consistent growth in biometrics adoption.

Physical access control systems monitor and manage access and movement throughout buildings and campuses. They can be implemented to track people or any moveable physical asset.

Data generated by physical access systems can be used in office and campus planning, asset management, security assessments and wrongdoing investigations. The systems also can make hacking via social engineering harder to accomplish.

It would be difficult to name an industry that does not make use of physical access control. For some industries, controlling access into, throughout and out of facilities is a functional requirement.

They include health care, military and defense, finance, travel, aerospace and pharmaceutical. Secondary industries include manufacturing, logistics, supply chain and commercial property.

Logical access control systems accomplish the same goals but they manage access to digital information and monitor network traffic and log-ons. They usually send alerts about anomalous activity.

Both categories can use smart cards, RFID devices and biometric systems to identify people and authenticate their credentials.

The spectrum of biometric systems that can be deployed is limited only by budgets and practicality, but traditionally involve fingerprint scanning.

Access cards can be either smart or no-contact proximity devices. RFID devices can be active (broadcasting signals to receivers) or passive (queried by a reader).

Some companies continue to opt for keypads for digital access to facilities and passwords for logical access to IT devices.

Industry Trends

Much is happening in the access control market.

COVID-19 is the immovable object in the world economy. Its continued presence makes a good case for adding or expanding automated, policy-based access control at virtually any enterprise.

The most significant trend — the rise of access control as a service (ACaaS) — is still growing but its long-term impact on this category will be large.

Memoori analysts say the growth of the control service market in 2019 was as much as 20 percent over the previous year.

“All of the leading suppliers are bullish about the future and are now investing heavily in their cloud services and signing up third parties to deliver software,” according to the Memoori access control report.

Price-conscious and investment-leery buyers come off the sidelines for services because total cost of ownership does not really apply for subscribers. Vendors do all the product investment, maintenance and support.

And market disruptions that result in better products for less money are more likely to happen in a subscription environment because entrepreneurs can compete more effectively against entrenched competitors in software arenas.

In the day-to-day world, deployments of video surveillance still outpace physical access control. Video systems are almost universally familiar in the developed world. And the market is dominated by Chinese vendors. Video-based access systems is one of the authoritarian government’s prized sectors, so aggressively priced products will continue for some time.

Among those opting for physical access control, card and fob systems will continue to dominate for some time, according to MarketsandMarkets.

Fortunately, component costs for biometric systems are dropping. The biggest factor affecting physical access control now, however, is the coronavirus.

It is not outlandish to anticipate new use case: Health certificate and biometric readers at the entrances of restaurants, office complexes, schools, health care facilities, entertainment venues — anyplace people congregate. In fact, this growing need might be enough to get governments to create secure and interoperable digital IDs.

The residential sector is likely to grow noticeably (though coronavirus-related joblessness likely will fence off that growth to the more affluent). Larger commercial property companies are more likely to continue to buy during the next few years than smaller players.

In the meantime, physical access control system vendors are finally opting for open-source software and components. This hurts proprietary vendors, but creates future opportunities as buyers mix and match products.

Market size estimates and forecasts

Verified Market Research valued the global 2019 access control market at $7.33 billion. The firm did not differentiate between physical and logical controls.

Maximize Market Research valued the 2019 market at $8.14 billion globally.

MarketsandMarkets projected that the market would be $8.6 billion in 2020. That estimate anticipates at least some of the economic effects of COVID-19.

Analysts at Memoori (sometimes spelled Meemoori) Research AB estimated that the global market value would hit $8 billion in 2019, an 8.2 percent jump over 2018.

Maximize estimates that the global market will hit $15.63 by 2027, at an 8.5 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over eight years. Europe is forecast to overtake both North America and Asia-Pacific in regional market share in 2027.

Forencis Research sees the global market value growing at a CAGR of 8.7 percent between 2019 and 2027, when its analysts predict the market will reach a value of $13.3 billion.

MarketsandMarkets expects the market value to grow at a CAGR of 8.2 percent from 2020 to 2025.

Memoori analysts wrote in late 2019 that the market would be $8 billion, a jump of 8.2 percent over 2018. They forecast that that figure would rise to $12 billion by 2024, a five-year CAGR of 8.48 percent.

Verified has forecast a CAGR of 6.35 percent from 2020 to 2027, when its analysts expect the market value to reach $11.58 billion.

Fior Markets expects the global market to have risen from $6.21 billion at the close of 2017 to $13.55 billion by 2025, a CAGR of 10.2 percent.

Major Players

AllegionAssa Abloy, Bosch Security Systems, Cisco, Dormakaba Holding, Fingerprint Cards, Honeywell International, Idemia, Identiv, Infineon, Johnson Controls, Idex Biometrics, NEC Corp., NXP, Precise Biometrics, Suprema, and Thales Group

Posted April 20, 2021

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