ISJ Exclusive: The top three biometric trends to be aware of in 2023


Share this content


Whether making homes smarter, empowering organisational efficiency through passwordless futures, protecting employees with access control systems or providing convenient ways to pay for in-store purchases, biometric technology continues to play a pivotal role in securing and simplifying everyone’s future.

And, the popularity of biometrics continues to grow. Throughout 2022 alone, the global biometrics market was worth around $33.2 billion as more industries – from banking to retail – realised its true value.

That is only part of the story too, with adoption set to grow by nearly three times by 2028, totalling $87.4 billion. With adoption accelerating at a rapid rate, 2023 is set to continue building on the momentum created in 2022 – paving the way for another year of innovation and opportunity, powered by biometrics.

So, as industries large and small explore ways in which to stay ahead of the curve via integrated solutions that offer swift, secure, flexible and more convenient ways to future proof their businesses or homes, here are three biometric trends that all organisations should have on their radar for 2023…

1 – Unlocking contactless 2.0

A standout feature of the recent payment digitisation revolution has been contactless. Well before the pandemic, contactless was quickly becoming a preferred payment method. And, as people became more hygiene conscious, contactless was an attractive solution for many consumers.

According to Fingerprints’ research, nearly half of in-store purchases globally are contactless – evidencing that the way in which people now pay for their in-store purchases has evolved greatly post-pandemic.

However, while contactless presents an array of opportunities, there is a huge challenge to overcome – security. Why? Well, it its current form, contactless offers little protection and if a card is lost or stolen, there is nothing to stop the finder from maxing the card’s contactless limit.

Furthermore, in response to the acceleration of contactless adoption, regulators globally increased contactless limits – an example being £100 in the UK, which was previously set at £45. And, while that has provided less restrictions and a greater level of flexibility for card owners, it has become an even more attractive prospect for thieves.

People still fear the worst too, with 51% of respondents concerned about the lack of security if their contactless card was lost or stolen. So, when building relationships with consumers is vital, card issuers have an interesting challenge to navigate if they are to continue to develop customer trust and provide robust and secure ways to pay.

A solution to the payments problem

But, biometrics can offer peace of mind. By integrating a biometric sensor into the contactless payment card, consumers can personally authenticate every transaction with a unique credential – their fingerprint. This integration enhances the security of the world’s most popular in-store payment method, without compromising the much-loved and convenient nature of contactless.

The rate of adoption of contactless biometric payment cards should continue to gather pace throughout 2023, building on the momentum of 2022. To date, ten commercial rollouts have taken place in countries including France, Switzerland, Mexico, Poland and Morocco, and with regulations – such as the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) – placing greater emphasis on payment security, there is likely to be even more pilots and rollouts on the horizon.

2 – Cryptocurrency – the next frontier

Throughout 2022, the use of cryptocurrencies grew and diversified (despite a tough year for DeFi) and 2023 will no doubt see this trend extend further. Typically, cryptocurrencies are associated with the (decentralised) movement of high volumes and high values of transactions, making them an attractive target for attackers. In response, work continues to take place to combat vulnerabilities such as crypto clipping.

In its current state, most users store their cryptocurrency within an exchange or in hot/cold wallets. These are mostly secured using a private key – a string of letters and numbers, much like a password. Hot wallets and exchanges are connected to the internet and the custody of the private key is managed by the exchange. This makes these two storage methods more susceptible to unauthorised access and cyber-attacks.

Cold wallets are widely recognised as the most secure way to store cryptocurrencies due to the offline nature of the storage device. Yet, if a user forgets or loses their private key for a cold wallet, it is near impossible to regain access. Cryptocurrency storage therefore needs innovation… and fast.

How users can securely store their cryptocurrency and keep cyber criminals at bay

Biometric technology enables users to migrate from easily compromised PINs and passwords to trusted, convenient and secure biometric authentication. The promise of security and convenience drew some of the biggest names in the ecosystem to evaluate and deploy the technology in 2022. As cryptocurrencies remain subject to ethical debate, biometrics offers cryptocurrency providers an opportunity to prioritise user experience and security. It is therefore expected that further cryptocurrency names will be adopting biometrics for secure storage this year.

3 – Optimising the workplace with FIDO2

Technology is fundamental to the running of a modern and productive organisation. Most recently, intuitive technology solutions have enabled the rise of hybrid working, allowing employees to ‘Work From Anywhere’.

However, while creating a flexible and accessible environment, regardless of location, is a clear advantage to many and critical to employee morale and motivation, what must be a consideration is how to secure the office’s digital and physical spaces against growing threats, all while accommodating hybrid working models. It is a complex balancing act, to say the least and something many C-suite leaders will wrestle with throughout 2023 and beyond.

Additionally, while PINs and passwords were once the answer to workplace security – and remain very easy to implement – they have fast become outdated, much like in the payments and cryptocurrency worlds. Not only are they easily hacked through data breaches, spyware, algorithms or social engineering techniques, it is impractical to create, remember and manage the growing list of passwords and PINs for every single device. For these reasons, change is needed and that is a primary driver as to why modern-day workplaces have already begun adopting biometrics.

Throughout 2022 alone, the majority of the world’s largest manufacturers of Windows PCs integrated biometric solutions and Microsoft added the Match-on-Chip biometric PC solution to its approved vendor list for Windows Hello Enhanced Sign-in Security. When employees need to access what they need, when they need it, if they are able to use one standardised and seamless authentication method, this can unlock the full potential of the hybrid-working model while managing risk.

Where FIDO2 and biometrics combine for smart access control

FIDO2 has expanded the authentication options to now offer passwordless, two-factor and multi-factor authentication, while retaining the strong security offered by public key cryptography. It aims to enhance security, convenience, privacy and scalability of the workplace by enabling organisations to shift from legacy OTPs and passwords to modern, possession-based credentials authenticated with biometrics.

On the whole, hybrid working requires a smarter approach to security, access control and authentication to protect companies, their data and employees. Supported by FIDO2, biometrics complement the convenience of a digitalised workplace, whilst ensuring higher levels of security. Companies such as Fetian, Nuki and Valmido have all integrated biometrics for smart access control solutions throughout 2022 and it is anticipated that more to follow as organisations explore high level, zero trust security approaches to future proof the workplace effectively and seamlessly.

Overall, with awareness around biometrics continuing to gain momentum, adoption is set to increase in pre-existing sectors and diversify into new industries and use cases. Vast investment into research and development will further fuel biometric innovation, all of which will help to evolve the technology and provide users with a secure, stable and robust solution for countless different use cases.

As long as security and convenience remain at the forefront of consumer and commercial needs, biometrics can unlock a whole host of exciting opportunities for all. Learn more at our blog.

1-ISJ- ISJ Exclusive: The top three biometric trends to be aware of in 2023

By Michel Roig, President of Payment and Access, Fingerprints

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox