Smartphone owners are already used to stare at their screens to safely unlock their devices without having to dial in a secret code. Now, facial recognition will increasingly be deployed to verify the identity of a user making a payment with their handset, whether that's via an app or directly in-store, in wallet mode carried by from a new analysis from the British institution.

New analysis called Juniper Research from shows that the next few years will see billions of users regularly using facial recognition technology to secure payments made through their smartphone, tablets or smartwatches.

"All you need for software-based facial recognition is a front-facing camera on the device and accompanying software," Nick Maynard, lead analyst at Juniper Research, tells ZDNet.

In addition to facial features, Juniper Research's analysts predict that a host of biometrics will be used to authenticate mobile payments, including fingerprint, iris and voice recognition. Biometric capabilities will reach 95% of smartphones globally by 2025, according to the researchers; by that time, users' biological characteristics will be authenticating over $3 trillion-worth of payment transactions -- up from $404 billion in 2020.

Mobile devices are increasingly used to replace credit cards, enabling users to leave their wallets at home even when visiting a shop, but also offering myriad new opportunities to make purchases online. From Instagram shopping to the Google Play store, the e-commerce ecosystem is growing rapidly -- and at the same time, it's opening many new avenues for fraudsters to exploit new vulnerabilities.

Maynard's research shows that between now and 2025, the number of handsets using hardware-based systems will grow by a dramatic 376% to reach 17% of smartphones.

To implement a software-based facial recognition system, all vendors need is the correct software development kit (SDK) installed on the device, as well as a decent-quality front-facing camera. With such low barriers to entry, Juniper expects the number of smartphone owners using the technology to secure payments to grow by 120% to 2025, to reach 1.4 billion devices -- that is, roughly 27% of smartphones globally.

As fraudsters refine their techniques and attacks become more sophisticated, we expect hardware-based technologies to close the gap. Smartphone vendors will be deploying facial recognition on a software basis to start with, the analyst explains, before upgrading to hardware-based methods once they see how popular the technology is.

"Fraudsters are always trying to evolve their tactics and develop new methods of fooling whatever security measures are in place," says Maynard. "They experiment with photos, 3D-printed masks – you name it, it's been tried. It's essentially an art war between fraudsters and security providers."

One of the most compact latest technology trend can analyse over 30,000 dots on users' faces to create a biometric map that's coupled with an infrared shot to compared to the facial data previously enrolled by the user. The technology is precise enough to identify spoofing -- for example, by distinguishing a real person from a 2D photograph or a mask.or a deepfake technology.

Juniper's research, in conclusion, recommends that vendors implement the strongest possible authentication tools as the advancement of digital transactions are coming in advancement. 

Our Credit to: Daphne Leprince-Ringuet 
April 12, 2021 -- 15:22 GMT (23:22 SGT) 
New analysis shows that facial recognition and other biometric authentication technologies will increasingly help to keep mobile payments safe from fraudsters.



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