Recent research revealed that the global biometrics technology market will reach $22bn by 2020. This is a significant projection and indicates just how quickly biometrics technology is being adopted into the mainstream, and how its scope to change industries is widening as customers become more comfortable with the concept.

At this important time, we thought we’d share some interesting biometrics applications from big businesses and organisations.

MasterCard

MasterCard has announced it is to trial using selfies as a security layer for online payments.

The trial will see customers use facial and fingerprint technology to deliver the company’s drive to make transactions quicker and more secure.

Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions, MasterCard, said:

Passwords are a pain. They’re easy to forget, they waste our time and they’re not very safe. Biometrics are making online transactions as secure and simple as purchases in person.

We think this is an interesting development that demonstrates good understanding of how customers are using their smartphones and mobile technology in general.

The Australian Government

The Australian Parliament has passed a law allowing for the collection of biometric data at its borders, from both visitors and citizens.

The aim of the Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill 2015 is to “streamline seven existing personal identifier collection powers into a broad, discretionary power to collect one or more personal identifiers from non-citizens, and citizens at the border.”

Broadly speaking, the law is being positioned as one designed to protect Australia from criminals entering the country, and to strengthen its response to immigration – a hot political issue.

PayPal

Another business investing in making online financial transactions faster and more secure is PayPal as it announced earlier this year it is to facilitate fingerprint recognition in its mobile app, using Apple’s Touch ID.

Not a particularly surprising announcement, given PayPal’s founding of the FIDO Alliance, an authentication standards body that sets security guidelines for the industry.

PayPal announced the move as part of its ongoing commitment to customer experience, again demonstrating the shift towards the faster, password-free transactions that customers want.

 

Ralph Lauren

Yes – the premium apparel brand has launched a biometric ‘smartshirt’.

The PoloTech smartshirt uses embedded sensors that captures the biometric data of its wearer, including heart rate, breathing rate and depth, movement, steps taken and calories burned. This data is then transmitted to an iOS app via a small black box attached to the shirt.

This is a truly pioneering development, as most brands’ experimentation with biometrics has been limited to accessories, including smartwatches and bracelets.

It’s interesting to note that the shirt will retail at $295, which is $55 less than Apple’s cheapest smartwatch. Could wearable technology in the form of outerwear challenge the smart accessories market?

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