Apart from making online payments and vehicles more secure, biometric technology is also enabling numerous other industries to become more efficient. The global biometric technology market is forecasted to be worth as much as USD 82.8 billion by 2027.

However, some hold the view that this technology causes a breach of privacy, and the consequences of inaccurate customer identification — particularly in industries like the government or banks — could be severe. In this article, we will be looking at the different types of biometric security systems, and discussing its impact by looking at some industry use cases.  

What is Biometric Verification?

Biometric authentication involves the analysis of an individual’s physical or behavioral traits. Since biometric data, such as a fingerprint or an iris structure, is unique to every person, it is useful for accurate identity verification and access control. 

While biometric technology is an ever-evolving concept and has a number of barriers to overcome, it is nonetheless a growing market as it offers countless advantages that are encouraging its adoption.

For instance, biometric identification is often considered as the better approach for verifying customers as it is more convenient and cost-effective for businesses. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at 5 different types of commonly used biometric identification methods. 

Biometric Authentication Techniques

Biometric authentication encompasses a variety of methods for the purpose of verification, including:

  1. Fingerprints: In a single fingerprint scan, 30 specific points, or minutiae, can be obtained through a scanner. Fingerprints are one of the most reliable methods for biometric authentication as no two individuals can have more than 8 similar minutiae.
  2. Facial features: Face biometrics enable businesses to verify their customers using their facial patterns and features. This method  of biometric authentication does not require any physical contact with the individual.
    Through online biometric verification systems, iris and retina scans can be carried out to verify identities based on the patterns of veins found at the back of the eye.  
  3. Voice patterns: In this type of verification, an individual’s voice is used to confirm their identity. One business sector that commonly uses this type of biometrics is telephone banking. 
  4. Palms: Palm vein scanners extract details by using geometric features. These can include an individual’s hand width, finger length or the unique vein pattern found in their palm.
  5. DNA: Used mostly by forensic departments and healthcare sectors, DNA testing is another essential tool for accurate biometric authentication, in which a segment analysis of the DNA is done for verifying an individual.

Where Biometric Authentication is Being Used

Beyond using your face, voice or fingerprint to unlock your smartphone, biometric technology is being utilized across an array of industries,  with some sectors implementing more advanced methods than others.

  1. Automotive Industry

Biometrics are increasingly used for the advancement of automotive technologies, particularly for driver security reasons. The global automotive biometric identification market is projected to reach USD 1,128 million by 2024, with a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of nearly 12%.

Biometric authentication systems that use fingerprint and iris scanners have become the standard security features for unlocking, locking and starting vehicles. One example is that of Hyundai, a South Korean automotive company that offers smart fingerprint scanning for accessing and turning on the car in two of its models. 

  1. Financial Services and Banking

As financial services move towards digital platforms, numerous fintechs and banks are implementing stricter verification protocols to combat increasing fraud, transaction security concerns, and to enhance the customer onboarding experience.

The shifting trend is also driven by changing customer preferences, as approximately 93% of consumers reportedly prefer to use biometric methods over traditional passwords, according to a study by Mastercard.

  1. Educational Institutions 

Facial biometrics or fingerprint sensors can be applied for various reasons in the educational institutions, ranging from access to dorms to lunch programs. Schools are also using similar systems for gaining access to student grades and their personal information.

Additionally, biometric solutions also enable the identification of unauthorised individuals entering schools, accurate detection of cheating during exams, and automated attendance management.    

Apart from these industries, the following sectors are also increasingly adapting to biometric authentication methods to gain more efficiency in their business process.

  • Law Enforcement: Use of DNA and fingerprints for collecting evidence in a criminal case
  • Border Control: Iris scans, facial recognition and fingerprint scanners are being used for identifying terrorists entering or exiting a country
  • Retail Industry: Industry leaders like Amazon are leading the pack in terms of biometric payment systems
  • Food and Beverage: Companies like Coca Cola and KFC are using biometric authentication for tracking activity of their vendors and for making payments

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