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COVID-19 crushes fingerprint reader market

19 Oct 2020

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, global biometric device revenues are expected to drop 22%, (US$1.8 billion) to US$6.6 billion, according to a recent report from global tech market advisory, ABI Research.

The entire biometrics market, however, will regain momentum in 2021 and is expected to reach approximately US$40 billion in total revenues by 2025.

“The current decline in the biometrics market landscape stems from multifaceted challenges from a governmental, commercial, and technological nature,” explains ABI Research digital security analyst Dimitrios Pavlakis. 

“First, they have 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. 

“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.”

However, 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 multi-factor 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. This will improve biometrics-as-a-service (BaaS) monetisation and authentication models down the line,” says Pavlakis.

Biometrics applications can now look toward new implementation horizons, with market leaders and pioneering companies like Gemalto (Thales), IDEMIA, NEC, FPC, HID Global, and Cognitec at the forefront of innovation. 

"Future smart city infrastructure investments will now factor in additional surveillance, real-time behavioural analytics, and face recognition for epidemiological research, monitoring, and emergency response endeavours," Pavlakis says. 

These findings are from ABI Research’s Biometric Technologies and Applications market data report. 

This report is part of the company’s Digital Security research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. 

Market Data spreadsheets are composed of deep data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight where opportunities lie.

ABI Research provides strategic guidance and actionable intelligence on transformative technologies that are reshaping industries, economies, and workforces across the world.