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Card tech and PSD2 are pushing biometrics to the mainstream

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With change happening so fast, it’s difficult to predict what the next year, let alone the next decade, will bring for biometric payments, but it’s certainly looking extremely promising.

A recent report from Juniper Research predicted biometrics will enable $2.5tn of mobile payments by 2024 – a strong indicator of the continued growth of biometrics in both smartphones and payments. The continuation of design-led smartphones will also see the use of touchless solutions, side-mounted and under-display sensors gaining significant traction as a result.

This year will also see more biometric payment card pilots scaling up to commercial launch, with France's Crédit Agricole disclosing such plans for 2020. With all POS terminals mandated to become contactless this year, the stage is set perfectly for the seamless roll-out of the technology across the globe.

These innovations follow a varied range of new devices utilizing biometrics that have recently emerged, including Feitan’s FIDO-certified AllinPass, BeamU’s hardware vault and Spatium’s cryptocurrency wallet. New and adjacent industries will be drivers of growth in biometrics adoption moving forward.

The implementation of PSD2’s SCA requirements in September undoubtedly pushed biometrics higher up Europe’s banking agenda, too. Our research found that more than half of issuers have a biometric strategy, with 90% of the rest intending to do so within two years. From cards and wearables, to mobile payments and crypto cold wallets, biometrics can simplify and unify the user experience across payments.

The past year was also big for biometric payment cards. The exclusive Swiss Corner Bank biometric credit card launch is limited to 100 customers, but the announcement marked the first of what's likely to be many more of these cards reaching consumers' hands in 2020.

Japan’s leading payment network, JCB, showed cards aren’t the only way fingerprint biometrics are securing payments with the launch of its new contactless payment device. In addition to contactless payments, the device can be used for other personal authentication applications such as event tickets or car-sharing programs.

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