Biometrics in Mobile Devices

London, United Kingdom – 13 September 2011 – Goode Intelligence


“There are an estimated 13 million mobile devices around the world that are already benefiting from embedded mobile biometrics in the form of fingerprint sensors” said Alan Goode, author of the report and founder of Goode Intelligence. “A significant number of these are being used in South-East Asia, particularly in Japan where consumers are benefiting from fingerprint-based biometric security to protect NFC payments at the physical point of sale (POS).”

Replicating the Japanese model in other regions in the world

Goode believes that this model could be replicated elsewhere: “2011 is seen as a pivotal year in the adoption of mobile payments using NFC in the rest of the world and there is a strong possibility that the Japanese model of using mobile phone-based biometric security will be duplicated. It may not necessarily replace existing authentication methods, such as chip and pin, as the primary authentication method but could undoubtedly augment it in certain circumstances.”


The key drivers behind market growth and the adoption of mobile phone biometric security include:  

  • Device security protection: Protecting the device against unauthorised access is the biggest driver for mobile phone biometric security. This includes protection both of apps and the data that resides on the device 
  • Mobile Commerce: The growth of mCommerce and the need to effectively secure the ecosystem on the mobile 
  • NFC: The contactless technology that is reaching tipping point could well be a major driver 
  • Convenient alternative to PINs and password: Swiping a finger on a phone or providing a verbal ‘voiceprint’ can be an easier and far more convenient way to provide authentication than  conventional technologies 
  • As part of a multi-factor authentication solution: With the recent attack on RSA, leading to vulnerabilities being exposed in its SecureID token technology, there is a pressing need for strong and agile authentication solutions – mobile phone-based biometric security can be a viable part of this solution 
  • Military and law enforcement: A cost-effective method for capturing biometric data and verifying identity in the field 

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