Top 3 Growth Opportunities in APAC Biometric Market for Mobile Network Operators, Financial Institutions, and Other Industry Players

Biometric identification and authentication is on its way to replace traditional verification processes such as Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), passwords and security questions. As usage of mobile devices and services gain traction in the Asia-Pacific region, the adoption rate of mobile biometrics will increase in tandem.

Frost & Sullivan estimates that the Asia-Pacific biometric identification and authentication market will witness impressive growth from 2016 to 2021, given the increasing popularity of the service and large untapped population in the region. With the customer base increasing at this rate, Asia-Pacific holds tremendous market potential.

Moreover, the region’s rapidly increasing smartphone penetration rate, along with growing popularity of wearable technology, is a significant driver of the market. This potential growth will contribute to new revenue opportunities worth almost $770 billion by 2021 globally.

Frost & Sullivan predicts these three growth opportunities, as given below.

  1. Cloud-based biometrics:

Cloud-based services are gaining traction due to the flexibility and cost-efficiency they provide to enterprises. With cloud-based biometrics, the user’s biometric data will be stored on the cloud instead of on the mobile device. This enables increased efficiency and productivity, allowing employees to access the company’s network through multiple devices securely and conveniently.

Companies such as Fujitsu offer cloud-based biometric services with a huge presence in Asia-Pacific; Japan accounts for more than 50% of the revenue generated in the region. Fujitsu’s offering of Biometrics-as-a-service appeals to enterprises as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends are slowly picking up. Employees will be able to securely access company data on their personal devices, using biometric authentication to verify their identity.

In the near future, cloud-based biometrics can also be used for workforce management, with benefits such as tracking of employees in remote locations, instant background screening from information obtained, and accurate salary issuance.

  1. Mobile identification:

Apple Inc. revolutionized mobile identification with its introduction of biometric authentication. In 2016, every major mobile platform and every major Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) device had at least an integrated fingerprint sensor. With new biometric authentication technologies such as facial recognition introduced, this market will further heat up and face increasing demand.

Companies such as HID specialize in mobile identification as a part of their IT security. HID goID is a mobile identification solution, where users can store their credentials in a smartphone and customize to only release relevant information based on authority, which enhances privacy. Despite weak growth in identification technology, there has been improvement in demand from institutional clients.

Similarly, NEC Corporation’s NeoFace Smart ID, used in commercial smartphones and tablets, is embedded with biometrics functionality. Operators are able to quickly verify a person’s identity without physical ID credentials. Its unique selling proposition is its ability to recognize users that put on different facial expressions, are covered with glasses or facial hair.

Frost & Sullivan considers HID and NEC to be top mobile biometrics identification market participants.

  1. Mobile Banking:

Mobile banking provides the biggest growth opportunity for mobile biometrics, with a market that could account up to $750 billion by 2021. With banks holding massive amounts of data comprising sensitive financial information, identification and authentication solutions have to be robust. Given the increasing popularity of mobile banking, banks have to strike a fine balance between convenience and security.

Mobile biometrics ensures that customers’ identification data are securely stored in the mobile device, which acts as a central repository, and enables the user to recover all the information related to a person’s identity. Banks have started introducing digital identification as part of the required Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process for account registration and financial transactions. Citibank, DBS Singapore, Maybank are among the few major banks that have implemented mobile banking biometrics in Asia-Pacific.

The next three years will be crucial, as the biometrics market in Asia-Pacific is reaching an inflexion point. Significant investments by governments and private investors could make a significant impact in its development.

To learn more about APAC Mobile Biometric Identification and Authentication Market, Forecast to 2021, visit

Sachi Mulmi is a researcher with Frost & Sullivan. She can be reached at

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