Fingerprints identified as key driver of mobile payments

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Biometric-based mobile payments will almost treble during the next five years, driven by the increasing number of smartphones equipped with fingerprint scanners, new research has claimed.

The report by Juniper Research said there were just over 600 million biometrics-based payments last year, which will rise to almost two billion by 2021.

While initial adoption was driven by Apple Pay, the research house said Android Pay and Samsung Pay were starting to become engines of growth in their own rights.

The report predicted fingerprint scanners, a key factor in the increase in biometric-based payments, would be on around 60 percent of smartphones shipped this year. Their presence on mid-tier handsets will be driven by Chinese smartphone makers.

[Read more: More than three billion smartphones to be mobile payment ready by 2018]

However, new kinds of biometric payments are emerging, such as Mastercard's Identity Check Mobile capability. When it goes live later this year, consumers will be able to make payments after taking a selfie or scanning their fingerprints to validate their identity.

Juniper also cited an app from India's authentication authority, which allows retailers to validate identity through a fingerprint or iris scan.

However, report author Windsor Holden said service providers still needed to be conscious of the balance between convenience and security.

He said: “Typically, the more secure the solution, the more time-consuming the authentication process. It is essential to offer a range of verification options allowing clients to determine what level of security is required for a given authentication.”