Acuity Market Intelligence estimates that by 2022, annual production of smart, biometric “physical” identity credentials – including ePassports, National Identity Cards, and Driver’s Licenses – will peak at more than one billion a year. They will begin to be replaced by next generation “virtual” credentials securely stored in mobile devices and accessed via biometric authentication. And, by 2030, today’s standard identity credentials will be obsolete.
According to Maxine Most, Acuity Market Intelligence Principal and lead analyst, “The platform driving this transformation is being rolled out today. More than 220 biometrically enabled smartphone models are currently on the market. By 2018, all smartphones will include biometrics and by 2020, feature phones will be obsolete. The global deployment of this platform is the tipping point for full-scale adoption of digital identity.”
Several US states have begun evaluating smartphone based driver’s licenses and similar initiatives are underway in Australia where “passport free” travel is also being considered. Austria has a virtual National ID that can be loaded onto smart cards or mobile devices, and India’s UIDAI announced a move to Aadhaar-enable smartphones.
Most, a biometric and digital identity expert, continues, “We are in the early stages of developing global standards for digital identity. Smart virtual credentials enabled by biometrics are an important step. Biometrics on smart devices will be multi-modal, used for active and passive authentication, and stored both locally and in secure clouds depending on the application and level of risk.”
“Biometric-based virtual credentials will also eliminate the need for separate payment mechanisms,” says Most. “By 2025, biometric authentication will be standard for trillions of annual payments and information transactions and by 2030 physical payment mechanisms such as debit and credit cards will become inconvenient and increasingly not accepted. Secure, anonymous biometric authentication will replace multiple forms of identification and payment mechanisms.”