End of alphanumeric passwords? Biometric authentication app downloads to reach 770 million by 2019

More than 770 million biometric authentication applications will be downloaded per annum by 2019, up from just 6 million this year, according to a new report by Juniper Research. This would dramatically reduce dependence on alphanumeric passwords in the mobile phone market.

The report found that a number of high-profile deployments of biometric authentication techniques would drive wider adoption. The research firm highlighted Apple’s combination of Apple’s Touch ID authentication allied to tokenisation in NFC payments as a key case in this regard.

The study argued that fingerprint authentication would account for the overwhelming majority of such apps in the medium term, driven by increasing deployment of fingerprint scanners within mid-range smartphones.

 End of alphanumeric passwords? Biometric authentication app downloads to reach 770 million by 2019

Representational image. Reuters

However, the report found that other forms of biometric identification that do not require embedded hardware are also emerging, such as Descartes Biometrics’ ERGO ear print biometric authentication app and Nuance’s voice authentication service.

A key benefit of biometrics is its capability to enhance accessibility by reducing rejection rates of authentication systems. It argued that in addition to the enhanced security, biometric applications can improve the user experience by making it low friction and easy for the consumer to make transactions.

The report also claimed that as consumers seek to reduce the likelihood of their social media profiles being hacked, service providers such as Facebook may turn to facial scanning to add value through increased authentication security.

However the report cautioned that there was a real need to reassure consumers of the security of biometric technologies over alphanumeric authentication and warned that significant public education would be necessary for this potential of the technologies to be realised.

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Updated Date: Jan 20, 2015 15:12:19 IST