The biometrics industry is projected to grow by over $US 24 billion during the 2019-2013 time period, according to a study by Technavio.

Based on the same study, much of the growth in biometrics will be seen in our government, healthcare,  as well as our banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI).

Soon enough, just your fingerprint, a face scan, or a tap of your smartphone would be enough to go around the city. Cash is gradually fading out of the picture.

But, in the presence of legacy systems which do not support cashless payments, cash would not be rendered obsolete — not until full integration of biometric authentication is payment is attained, at least.

A glimpse in the cashless world

A cashless world might seem like the sort of stuff you will just see in the movies. But in some parts of the world, it is slowly becoming a reality.

For example, let’s look at China. Right now, cash and coins in this country is quickly going out of fashion. Whenever they eat out or shop, most Chinese citizens in major cities pay using WeChat or Alipay.

Image: The New York Times

In Singapore, the SingPass app allows Singaporeans to access e-government services through a fingerprint or face scan, adding another layer of security that passwords cannot offer.

Image: The Straits Times

In South Africa, biometric information is embedded in the National Identity Card known as the Smart ID.

The Smart ID is created with the intention to improve automation, identity checks, as well as to speed up businesses interactions. Government processes such as the issuance of  driver’s licences, social grants, as well as insurance are also made easier by the ID system.

More and more countries are integrating biometric systems in their government services. Technavio ‘s study revealed that government services will be the primary driver of growth in the biometrics market.

The benefit going biometric

What’s so appealing about biometric systems that countries are investing in infrastructure needed to accommodate this tech? Let’s have a rundown:

  • Security. Your biometrics are extremely difficult to forge. Especially when you layer multiple modes of biometric authentication, the security of your transactions are heightened vastly.
  • Convenience. Soon as you get your biometrics scanned, most of the transactions you will do in your daily life will be complete. With this, you no longer need to suffer long lines just to get things done. Processing government documents is also made easier with systems integrated with biometric authentication.
  • Lowered Administrative Costs. For businesses, lost IDs and forgotten passwords are going to entail additional expenses and time wasted. With biometric identification, there is no need to carry around IDs all the time. At the same time, there will be no fear of massive security breaches since there are no passwords that can be stolen.

The versatility and the efficiency offered by biometrics makes it attractive to governments and businesses. Given this, the growth of this market is almost unstoppable.

We might be saying goodbye to our coins and paper bills sooner than we think.

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