Mobile Biometrics: Past, Present, and Future

by Joseph Walent 0

Use of biometrics continues to gain acceptance in the marketplace, especially as the more consumers realize the value of layered security and contextual security. Based on the kind of secured data each of us is accessing and the situation in which we are attempting to access, identity authentication method option are wider today because of the advances being made in mobile biometrics.

Only a few years ago, a pin or password was accepted as sufficient. Then came the 9 dots on which the user could draw a pattern, then came photos that let the user draw a ‘blind’ pattern, then voice recognition, and now facial recognition technology is showing serious improvements.

Mercator Advisory Group anticipates the integration of identity authentication via both active and passive biometrics to increasingly be the norm, especially as mobile devices serve as digital wallets used for day-to-day transactions and the initiator of much more significant purchases. We believe there will be an establishment of ‘tiers’ of biometric verification used depending on the value of a given transaction, e.g. using a mobile device fingerprint swipe for small purchase authorization, and combined biometrics (facial, voice, and context) for large transactions. We wonder if the next questions will be “where will all this individual identification data be stored, and who will have access?”


Overview by Joseph Walent, Senior Analysts, Emerging Technologies at Mercator Advisory Group

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