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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

Biometrics to be the top disruptive technology for ecommerce in 2016

Wednesday 10 February 2016 | 12:41 PM CET

Biometrics is forecasted to be the top disruptive technology in digital commerce for 2016.

In a new analysis conducted by Juniper, biometrics is placed ahead of federated identity and tokenization in the trends most likely to shape ecommerce, largely due to the proliferation of fingerprint readers in smartphones.

The report highlights the use of biometric authentication in both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and argues that use cases and deployments will proliferate in the short and medium term.

However, it adds that behind biometrics is federated ID, which provides merchants with the ability to gather information on customers in a click – rather than asking them to fill out long forms. Juniper observed that Facebook, Google and LinkedIn dominate this area at present, but expects new entrants such as banks, telcos and even governments to increase their presence within the space.

The study ranks tokenization as the next most impactful technology. By replacing card numbers with randomly generated digits, tokenization makes the theft of card data pointless, while also preventing merchants from having to store sensitive credentials. Juniper anticipates that the benefits offered by tokenization, and its support by Visa and MasterCard, will lead to far greater commercial deployment and adoption in the near future.

However, the research cautions that the top 10 disruptive technologies will invariably develop at different speeds. Unpredictable factors such as new device types and government regulation will accelerate the adoption of some and delay others.

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