BBVA Compass Economists Are Bullish on Biometrics

Biometrics technologies, including voice recognition, are quickly making the world of PINs and passwords a thing of the past, according to "Biometrics: the Future of Mobile Payments," a new report by BBVA Compass economists.

Biometric measures, such as DNA, fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, voice recognition, facial patterns, vein patterns, and hand measurements are gaining widespread adoption to authenticate and verify people's identities. The economists also wrote in the report that advanced biometrics technologies could soon revolutionize banking.

"Biometric authentication is growing at a fast pace and shows great potential to protect individual data and enhance customer experience, particularly in the banking industry," said BBVA Compass Chief Economist Nathaniel Karp, in the report.

Biometrics in banking is most popular in developing economies in Asia, such as India and Indonesia; the Americas rank second, according to Karp.

Current estimates say the global biometrics technology market in the financial sector alone could reach into the billions by 2020. This includes biometric sensors, biometric app downloads, direct purchases, and software development fees and authentications fees from biometrically secured payment and non-payment transactions.

According to the BBVA Compass research report, the benefits of biometrics go beyond strengthening proof of identity and enhancing fraud detection.

"As biometrically-enabled devices become standard, critical industries such as banking will be able to offer better customer experience, faster processing times, lower costs, and facilitate a multichannel environment across industries in a seamless fashion," Karp said.

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