Global fingerprint biometric device revenues are expected to fall 22 per cent, or $US1.8 billion, to $6.6 billion in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent Biometric Technologies and Applications report from global tech market advisory, ABI Research.

More positively, the overall biometrics market is forecast to regain momentum in 2021 and is expected to reach approximately $40 billion in total revenues by 2025.

“The decline has been instigated primarily due to economic reforms during the crisis which forced governments to constrain budgets and focus on damage control, personnel well-being, and operational efficiency,” said Dimitrios Pavlakis, digital security industry analyst at ABI.

“Governments had to delay or temporarily cancel many fingerprint-based applications related to user/citizen and patient registration, physical access control, on-premise workforce management, and certain applications in border control or civil, welfare, immigration, law enforcement, and correctional facilities.

“Second, commercial on-premise applications and access control suffered as the rise of the remote workers became the new norm for the first half of 2020. Lastly, hygiene concerns due to contact-based fingerprint technologies pummelled biometrics revenues forcing a sudden drop in fingerprint shipments worldwide.”

Not all is bleak, Pavlakis says. New use-case scenarios have emerged, and certain technological trends have risen to the top of the implementation lists. For example, enterprise mobility and logical access control using biometrics as part of multifactor authentication (MFA) for remote workers.

“Current MFA applications for remote workers might well translate into permanent information technology security authentication measures in the long term,” he says. “This will improve biometrics-as-a-service [BaaS] monetization and authentication models down the line.”

Biometrics applications can now look toward new implementation horizons thanks to innovations being driven by several leading technology providers.

“Future smart city infrastructure investments will now factor in additional surveillance, real-time behavioral analytics, and face recognition for epidemiological research, monitoring, and emergency response endeavors,” Pavlakis said.

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