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Biometrics market forecast for $44B by 2026, industry survey sees digital identity focus

Biometrics market forecast for $44B by 2026, industry survey sees digital identity focus

Biometrics industry development over the next five years will be focused primarily on digital identity, according to the latest industry survey from the Biometrics Institute.

The overall global biometrics market is expected to grow rapidly from $19.5 billion last year to $44.1 billion by 2026, a compound annual growth rate of 14.8 percent, according to a new market study from Global Industry Analysts.

Over 90 percent of respondents to the Institute survey say biometrics will be a key to anchoring digital identity, and that growth trends in mobile identity verification and remote onboarding will be sustained.

Biometrics Institute Chief Executive Isabelle Moeller noted that questions on digital health passes and biometrics are included in this year’s edition of the survey, and will be further explored at the upcoming Biometrics Institute Congress online in October.

“As privacy concerns continue to be seen as the main barrier to the adoption of biometrics, and legislation; regulation; standards and testing all struggle to keep pace with technology, the Institute has an important role to play in continuing to bring diverse stakeholders together to discuss these issues,” Moeller says. “Our biannual Privacy Guidelines Paper which reflects the global changes in technology and legislation which impact privacy was updated in May.”

The Institute also asked what areas biometric should not have been implemented for, with the top responses being social media and politics (37 percent), followed by school administration (26 percent) and birth registration (24 percent).

Accelerated adoption and persistent challenges

Nearly two out of three respondents believe the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of biometric solutions, and three-quarters see the technology as critical to managing the current, as well as future pandemics.

There is less consensus on the nature of that challenge, however. Asked if health protection will be more important than privacy over the next few years, 39 percent agreed and 32 percent disagreed.

A priority for the future of the industry is public education, as agreed to be 90 percent of those surveyed. Similarly strong consensus is also seen in the survey results around the importance of standardized testing.

Facing up to a problem area

Nearly half of respondents feel that face is the biometric modality most likely to increase over the next few years, and behavioral biometrics are increasingly seen as an industry growth area.

Roughly 60 percent of respondents feel that each of law enforcement, commercial applications, social media and political use of biometrics need tighter legislation, and respondents were split on whether legislation in their own country is strict enough (45 percent) or not (42 percent).

Industry professionals are, unsurprisingly, mostly opposed to ban or moratoriums on law enforcement use of face biometrics, but two-thirds feel that a lack of transparency from organizations using biometrics is causing public distrust.

Respondents are broadly agreed on the importance of human rights in implementing biometrics, and the importance of ‘a human in the loop.’

Demographic differentials in facial recognition are overstated, according to 36 percent, while 28 percent disagree.


The 14th edition of the ‘Biometrics – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics’ report from Global Industry Analysts breaks down the market by application, end-use and geography.

The ABIS segment, which currently accounts for 28.6 percent of the market, is expected to grow slightly faster than the non-ABIS market segment. The U.S. holds nearly as a large a share among geographies, according to the report.

Among modalities, iris biometrics are expected to make up $5.7 billion of the 2026 market, a significant increase over its market proportion today.

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