Biometrics-Enabled Tech To Become Enterprise Reality

by Moumita Deb Choudhury    Jan 19, 2017


If we look back in time, we see thumb impressions being used as signature. It seems, we have taken a full circle from there; thumb impressions will yet again be our signature in the foreseeable future.

Biometrics as a technology has been in use for sometime but in limited ways. Its adoption in India, especially in the enterprise has not been as rapid. The advent of Digital India and especially the scenario, post-demonetization can speed up the process. BFSI and government are already deploying the technology and going forward, it will see more adoption in retail, healthcare and several other verticals. We may therefore expect that biometric devices will see a bigger demand in the enterprise.

A new report by Allied Market Research, titled, ”Global Biometric Technology Market: Opportunities and Forecasts, 2015 - 2022,” projects that Asia-Pacific is projected to expand at the highest CAGR of around 22% during the forecast period.

According to a Forbes report, more than 50% of smartphones will have fingerprint sensors by 2019, and a recent report from ABI Research forecast that global revenues for biometric banking technology alone will top $4 billion by 2021.

End of digital wallets/ PoS machines

While a lot of emphasis is being laid on digital transaction post-demonetization, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said cards, ATMs and POS machines would become redundant in the country by 2020. “India will make this jump because every Indian will be doing his transaction just by using his thumb in thirty seconds,” Kant said recently while speaking at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru.

Paytm is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile wallet space in India. MobiKwik, Oxigen, FreeCharge, are some of the other companies in this sector. The demonetization drive has given a big boost to these ventures as they are used for several purposes. Also, it has lifted the usage of PoS machines.

According to an Assocham report, M-wallet market is segmented into three broad services — money transfers from wallet to wallet, bank to wallet and vice versa which accounts for 38 percent share, followed by recharge and bill payments for mobile, DTH, landline, electricity and other such services (31 percent share).

The remaining share of 31 percent is captured by online shopping, hotel/travel/movie ticket reservations, online food order, payment of insurance premium, recharging Metro rail card and others.

With the apparent revolution in the biometric landscape and considering Kant’s calculation, it would also mean the end of roads for most mobile wallet companies and Point of Sales (PoS) machines providers.

But are Customers Ready?

In the current scenario, consumers are still to embrace mobile wallets and PoS wholly.  Security concern hinders the growth of m-wallet industry. The consumer mindset is the biggest factor that hinders the growth of Indian m-wallet market, as they are more skeptical about the safety and security issues as in case of internet banking as users worry that their devices could be hacked or attacked by some kind of viruses, noted the Assocham-RNCOS study.

Also, often people complain that their money has been debited but the transaction got declined while transacting via mobile, and to avoid such problems users keep away from using mobile wallet related services, it added.

For all kinds of monetary transactions and other such services one needs to disclose his/her identity, which might create a huge problem for the customers if the hackers hack the security or wireless transmission and obtain all the information related to the social or financial matters, highlighted the study. (Click here to read more

In the wake of demonetization, India is moving towards being a cashless economy. The country so long has been hugely cash driven one. The shift from cash to cashless will take its course over time. For some, cashless transaction is the only option going forward. However, for a majority now, it is a situation driven by compulsion, where security concerns will continue to act as a major pull-back, unless India builds a strong ecosystem on legal complexities and its ramification of biometric card.