Data Driven Insight for Biometrics, Digital Identity & eIDs

Biometrics, Mobility, Digital Identity, ePassports, eIDs, Automated Border Control, eGates, Secure Documents...

Biometric Smartphone Market Explodes in 2016 as Prices Plunge

Posted: February 6th, 2017 | Author:

500 models from 87 vendors, 120 for $150 or Less 

Acuity Market Intelligence’s latest research finds that 87 smartphone vendors introduced 346 biometric smartphones in the past year. This brings the total number introduced since 2013 to 559, more than double the 200 models Acuity reported a year ago and a ten-fold increase in two years. The proliferation of biometric smartphones is extraordinary. This unprecedented growth supports Acuity’s assertion that within two years, biometrics will be as ubiquitous on smartphones as high resolution cameras are today.

Acuity analysis indicates nearly one billion biometric smartphones are currently in use representing 40% of the global smartphone market. Acuity expects this to grow to 100% of the two billion smartphones shipped annually within two years reaching 100% installed base penetration by 2022.

During 2014, 28 biometric smartphone vendors, most with single offerings, defined the market. Today, of the 87 vendors offering biometric smartphones, more than 30 offer at least six models and market leaders ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo, Samsung and Xiaomi have each introduced at least 20 models. At 7% model share, ZTE is in the top spot, followed by Huawei at 6.2%, and Lenovo, Xiaomi, and Coolpad each at about 4%. Samsung falls just below this threshold offering 3.4% of the biometric smartphone models. Another 22 vendors each offer at least 1% of the total number of models with the remaining 59 vendors collectively offering 35% of currently available biometric smartphone models

Though Android is the principal operating system powering 97% of all biometric smartphone models, Apple remains the dominant player capturing 45%-unit market share of the nearly one billion biometric smartphones in use today with just a handful of iPhone models.

In addition, biometric smartphone prices have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price of a biometric smartphone decreased from $849 in Q1 2013 to $276 in Q4 2016. There are now 120 sub-$150 models on the market at an average price of $116, up from just 28 a year ago at an average price of $127

Acuity believes biometric smartphone growth will continue as mobile application security, particularly for financial services, requires biometric authentication, low-cost sensors drive down the cost of biometric integration, and consumers demand an end to password and pin based security.

Meanwhile, the Indian Government recently called on domestic handset manufactures to develop $30 smartphones. Integrating biometrics into smartphones at this price point would not only transform the Indian market of one billion, but would pave the way for mass replacement of traditional handsets across Asia, Africa, and the rest of the developing economies creating a globally available, universal biometric authentication platform.

Given these powerful market forces, Acuity is confident the market will achieve the 100% biometric smartphone penetration originally forecast for the end of 2018 in Acuity’s “Global Biometrics and Mobility Report.


Details available in the “Biometric Smartphone Update” spreadsheet which provides detailed information on every biometrics smartphone on the market including brand, model, biometric mode, sensor, OS, price, availability, and links to detailed specifications and reviews. Preview at www.acuity-mi.com/BSP.php.

“The Global Biometrics and Mobility Report” provides unit and revenue forecasts for biometric smartphones, tablets, and wearables, and biometric apps and payment. Preview at www.acuity-mi.com/GBMR_Report.php .


Filed under: Biometrics, Market Insight, Market Research, Mobile Biometrics, Mobility, Smart Devices, Smartphones, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Biometric Smartphones have officially gone “Mainstream”

Posted: February 11th, 2016 | Author:

Our latest research is shutterstock_357654659-2 out. And the BIG NEWS: Biometric Smartphones are officially mainstream!  More than 200 fingerprint, iris, and eye-vein biometric smartphones have been introduced since Q1 2013 under 70 brand names including market leaders such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi,, TCL, Oppo, Vivo, and ZTE. Acuity projects that 600 million biometric smartphones are currently in use representing 28% of the global installed base.

This explosion of biometric smartphones is just the beginning. The number of models increased from 52 a year ago to 197 today with additional announcements expected by the end of Q1. Acuity is confident the market will achieve the 100% biometric smartphone adoption forecast for 2018 in last year’s Global Biometrics and Mobility Report.

Biometric smartphone prices have dropped dramatically as new low-end options expand adoption, especially in emerging markets. Since Fujitsu introduced the Arrows XF-02 models in February 2013, and Apple the groundbreaking iPhone 5S in September 2013, the quarterly average price of biometric smartphones has plunged from $800 to just $251. This includes 28 models introduced since May 2014 selling for $150 or less.

While 93% of all biometric smartphone models run Google’s Android OS and Fingerprint Cards sensors are used in more than 60% of current models, Apple maintains a dominant 45% total device and fingerprint sensor market share. This is, however, about to change as an onslaught of Android based Chinese phones along with aggressive plans by Chinese sensor manufacturers alter the market landscape during 2016.

Check GMBRrepCOV-2out the “Biometric Smartphone Update” for details of all biometric smartphones shipped since Q1 2013 including brand, model, OS, price point, release date, and availability as well as biometric type, vendor, and sensor, and links to complete specifications and reviews at http://www.acuity-mi.com/BSP.php.

It is a great companion to “The Global Biometrics and Mobility Report” which provides detailed unit and revenue forecasts for smartphones, tablets, and wearables, biometric apps, and biometric payment and other transactions from 2014 to 2020. Preview and purchase at  www./GBMR_Report.php .


Filed under: Biometrics, Data Driven Analysis, Market Forecast, Market Insight, Market Research, Mobile Biometrics, Mobility | No Comments »

Will Fintech’s Love Affair With Biometrics End Badly For The Global Payment Giants Touting This Match Made In Heaven?

Posted: January 6th, 2016 | Author:

Originally published by findBIOMETRICS.com

GUEST POST: Will Biometrics Displace Global Payment Giants?2015 was a banner year for fintech, mobile payments, and biometrics. Nearly 100 smartphones are currently shipping with native biometric authentication and nearly every major bank, payment processor, identity broker, handset manufacturer, and leading tech player is hyping their mobile biometric offering. Just a mere 2 years ago, even after Apple’s groundbreaking introduction of the iPhone 5s, biometrics was routinely dismissed as unreliable, frightening, fringe technology—more the stuff of science fiction then the realm of daily consumer experience. However, by the close of 2015, weekly announcements plugging new smartphones, banking apps, and payment players integrating biometrics were routine.

Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Money20/20 Conference in October 2015. More than 10,000 financial service, payment and high-tech industry leaders converged on Las Vegas to hobnob with scores of fintech wannabes and digital money analysts and advocates all clamoring to display expertise and insight into the mainstream adoption of biometrics as an enabler of mobile commerce.

Market legends from Visa and MasterCard to First Bank and Chase, along with Samsung, Google, Facebook, and more too numerous to list were tripping over each other to embrace biometrics as mainstream technology. A year earlier at the 2014 edition of Money20/20, keynote attendees were entertained with a gag biometric video The Future of Dough-PayByAss. But by 2015, as the event’s major sponsors all touted biometric offerings, the technology was clearly no longer a laughing matter and well beyond the crude musings of a satirical video.

Biometrics Embrace Encouraging and Confounding

GUEST POST: Will Biometrics Displace Global Payment Giants?Therefore, as we enter 2016 with biometrics hype gaining steam, a deep breath and some broader perspective is warranted. While the palpable biometric buzz evident throughout the past year in product announcements, on and offline articles, interviews, and analyses, as well as at events such as Money20/20, has certainly elevated biometrics’ prestige, the seemingly endless discussions of biometrics are, in reality, both encouraging and yet somewhat confounding.

Encouraging in that the unprecedented depth and intensity of interest and media coverage reflects a genuine mainstream commercial embrace of biometrics. This is extremely positive news for a technology industry that has been waiting for more than a decade to break free from its niche application in criminal and civil government markets.

Confounding in that very financial service behemoths, the Citi’s, American Express’s, and First Bank’s of the world, along with the chieftains of payment processing Visa and MasterCard, that are flaunting the ‘newfound’ and wondrous capabilities of biometrics to enable a ‘frictionless consumer experience,’ seem almost willingly ignorant to the inevitable impact biometrics will have on the future of their business.

Two Key Adoption Drivers of Biometrics: PIN/Password Replacement and ‘Stealth’ ID

GUEST POST: Will Biometrics Displace Global Payment Giants?According to these newfound financial service converts, biometrics is about two things. The first is PIN and password replacement for mobile device and in-app transaction authentication to reduce friction and increase the completed transaction rates. The second is using ‘stealth’ behavioral biometrics; confirming user identity by capturing data on the way users interact with their devices. There are several companies, including BioCatch and NuData, that provide this capability to ‘unnamed major retailers and financial service providers.’ Providers that do not notify their customers that this data is being captured and used to identify them.

Stealth biometric capture has proven historically disastrous for the biometrics industry and it remains unclear what kind of backlash may occur when consumers discover this information is being captured and used without their knowledge or consent. Facebook is currently facing multiple lawsuits in the US and has had to turn-off features in the EU based on its own stealth use of biometric facial recognition.

Beyond these two drivers, the more compelling rational behind the embrace of biometrics by mainstream players may be purely defensive; a means to co-opt potential threats to their core business. Banking, payment, even e-and m-commerce players are embracing biometrics to expand their reach into the ‘disruptive’ world of fintech and insulate themselves from innovation driven disintermediation.

Cloud Based Biometric Disruption

GUEST POST: Will Biometrics Displace Global Payment Giants?

Established financial service players have long depended on the highly technical and highly regulated nature of their business to resist disruption. The emerging mobile economy has fundamentally transformed the marketplace by creating a hyper-connected world where fintech innovation threatens their long-standing market stranglehold. Even as these ‘gatekeepers’ embrace biometrics as a means of retaining market power, they seem to fail to fully grasp its truly disruptive nature, which extends far beyond simple pin and password replacement or stealth risk assessments.

Biometrics is far more than an effective way for payment, banking, commerce, or even social media players to ‘kill passwords’ and reduce consumer ‘friction,’ or a stealth way of gathering Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Biometrics—properly integrated, managed, and applied within a consumer centric identity framework that includes both consumer ownership and control of PII and anonymous identification—may indeed pave the way for eliminating the gatekeepers altogether.

Irrefutable biometric authentication at the point of payment will render much of the existing payment processing infrastructure obsolete. Third party biometric authentication delivered via Biometrics as a Service (BaaS) or more broadly Identity as a Service (IDaaS) will offer far more efficient and cost effective fraud and theft mitigation than today’s dated, bloated, and slow (in digital terms) nearly $2 trillion a year payment processing industry. Cloud-based identity services will radically reduce transaction risk allowing this new class of BaaS or IDaaS players to provide direct transaction authentication at the point of payment near instantaneously at a far lower cost.

21st Century Identity Revolution

GUEST POST: Will Biometrics Displace Global Payment Giants?The true disruptive potential of biometrics is likely being been overlooked in the mad rush to jump on the biometrics bandwagon. Perhaps it is the result of a limited understanding of biometrics capabilities or perhaps a strategically driven denial. Either way, this misreading of biometrics is the quintessential elephant in the room and may prove ultimately fatal to those who fail to recognize it for what it is.

In much the same way that the 19th Century was the era of the Industrial Revolution, and the 20th Century was the era of the Digital Revolution, the 21st Century is poised to be the era of the Identity Revolution. Identity is more than a characteristic to be vetted or verified. Identity is becoming the organizing principal of the emerging global digital ecosystem. An organizing principal that is poised to transform many global industries, including payment processing, as consumers, citizens, and employees trust biometrics to secure their digital transactions allowing them to regain control over their PII.

Biometric ‘Love Affair’ Gone Awry

GUEST POST: Will Biometrics Displace Global Payment Giants?Conventional wisdom among biometric naysayers perpetuates a long list of the ‘dangers’ of biometrics Biometrics are unreliable. Biometrics will irreversibly compromise consumer privacy. Biometrics are irrevocable and once compromised forever lost.  The mainstreaming of biometrics will be cataclysmic for both the individuals and organizations that adopt them. The embrace of this technology is irresponsible at best, perilous at worst. . . A litany of context-free, myths based on technical misunderstanding and discredited threats.

The real peril, however, of mainstream adoption of biometrics, particularly for players in the payments arena, may come in quite a different package. A $2 trillion industry reliant on antiquated infrastructure and propped up by outmoded risk models being ultimately displaced by the widespread availability of instantaneously biometric identity verification delivered via the digital cloud. Not exactly a match made in heaven!


Filed under: Biometrics, Disruption, e/mCommerce, Financial Services, Market Insight, Mobile Biometrics, Mobility, Money2020, Payments | No Comments »

Mobility Fuels Biometric “Boom”!

Posted: June 10th, 2015 | Author:

Acuity just released revised forecasts for the mobile biometrics market. Annual revenues from biometrics embedded in smart mobile devices, biometric app downloads, and biometric authentication of transactions are projected to grow from $1.6 billion in 2014 to $34.6 billion in 2020 representing a CAGR of nearly 67% with total forecast period revenues exceeding $117 billion.

MBimage Today’s mobile biometrics are primarily a convenience factor; a pin alternative for device, application, and account access, as well as mobile payment authorization. I believe that by 2017, hardened biometric security on mobile devices will begin in earnest and we will see a genuine transformation in identity and commerce and the true end of “the password as we know it.”

The potential for consumer use of mobile biometrics and the associated revenue is magnitudes greater than any previous application of biometrics. This massive, globally available platform will provide an unprecedented opportunity for sustained sensor, software and app based revenue as well as enormous potential for biometric authentication services for high-risk and high-value transactions.

Acuity also projects that by 2020, biometrics will be standard on 100% of the nearly 3 billion consumer smart mobile devices sold each year. With an installed base of 4.8 billion, more than 89% of all smart mobile devices in use will be biometrically enabled. In addition, more than 5.5 billion biometric apps will be downloaded annually, and more than 800 billion transactions that require some level of biometric authentication will be processed on mobile devices each year.

For detailed forecasts and analysis of the consumer mobile biometric market, preview and purchase “The Global Biometrics and Mobility Report: The Convergence of Commerce and Privacy” at www.acuity-mi.com/GBMR_Report.php


Filed under: Biometrics, Data Driven Analysis, e/mCommerce, Market Forecast, Market Insight, Market Research, Mobile Biometrics, Mobility, NFC, Payments | No Comments »

Will Biometrics be the “Undoing” of the Monetization of Consumer Data?

Posted: April 8th, 2015 | Author:

The headline from Business Insider UK reads : Facebook is being sued for amassing the world’s largest stash of facial-recognition data

The article states …

The lawsuit alleges that this facial-recognition program violates the privacy of its users, citing an Illinois law called the Illinois Biometrics Information Privacy Acts, which requires companies to get written content from a user if it is collecting biometric data.

Further, according to the statute, the company must state the purpose and length of its data-collection program.

The idea being that Facebook collects and uses biometrics data without the requisite knowledge or consent of it’s 1.35 billion monthly users, or at least the ones in Illinois. Europe has actually prohibited the use of Facebook’s facial recognition technology,  but I have to wonder how exactly does this work? Does i apply to individuals who use European addresses for their profiles? Or does it apply to all traffic on European servers and networks?

Facebook says the templates are “useless bits of data,” that only work with their own software and “users can opt out of the feature and their data will be deleted”.  But this kind of explanation, regardless of its voracity, has never been convincing for any kind of personal data collection. Not even from leading biometric vendors or government agencies with large civil and criminal biometric databases.

Though it must be said that government biometric databases, at least within democratic and many not-s0-democratic societies, are generally accompanying by clear (and hopefully) transparent rules regrading the collection, storage, management, use, and disposal of biometric data. And to date, there have been no known major breeches of  government biometric databases that have led to catastrophic results. At least none that we know about.

Facebook and other commercial enterprises whose business model relines on collecting and monetizing  personal data are, as yet, generally not subject to the same rules, transparency, or  scrutiny. Though clearly European regulators did limit their use of biometrics, at least by Facebook, and the same is now being attempted in the US with the Illinois case.

 

What I find fascinating is that as companies, especially innovative hi-tech behemoths like Facebook, Google, embrace biometrics to simplify, secure, and enhance their social media, payment, and other services, not only do biometrics become demystified but the inherent capabilities of biometric technology actually begin to threaten the underlying business model that is driving their adoption.

Facebook and Google have voluminous knowledge of individuals who access the internet – preferences, friends and professional connections, shopping habits, games, information searches,  overall internet footprint, etc.   These massive data gathering machines have been parlayed into multi-billion dollar global enterprises. Corporate ownership, management, and sale of consumers’ personal information – information that is often far more difficult and costly to come by and far more intimate and invasive than biometrics – has become the foundation of the globalization of consumer marketing.

However, by integrating biometrics into mainstream consumer life, these companies may be threatening the very economic model that has allowed them to achieve meteoric success monetizing personal data. In essence, the integration of biometrics into IT based social media, finance, payment, and health ecosystems has the potential to deconstruct traditional ideas about and models of personal data ownership and control.

By enabling reliable anonymous identification, biometrics can greatly reduce, even eliminate, the need for the kind of personal information that is routinely required to conduct business, complete transactions, or engage in online interactions or research activities. Enabling this level or anonymity could fundamentally change consumer perceptions regarding their own personal data and the level of control they should have over who can access it, how it can be used, and certainly who can make money off to it.

This kind of “awakening”  round “consumer centric privacy” could force companies like Facebook, Google, and other consumer knowledge based information brokers to transform their business models to align with new consumer expectations or become mere shadows of their former selves.

For more perspective, download Acuity ’s market brief The ABCs of Mobility: Apple®, Biometrics and the promise of Consumer Centric privacy .

And, stay tuned for the upcoming Global Biometrics and Mobility Report: The Convergence of Commerce and Privacy.


Filed under: Biometrics, e/mCommerce, Market Development, Market Insight, Market Research, Mobile Biometrics | No Comments »