Is biometrics coming to vending?

As a super-fast form of payment settlement, the use of biometrics is likely to increase in vending machines and micro markets in the next several years.

The use of the technology seems to be a no brainer, particularly where the same set of employees or customers are frequently using the same point of sale.

Biometrics, which come in various forms including fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, or iris recognition are already being deployed with significant success in across other industries as explained in a recent report on biometrics which predicts the market size is expected to surpass $45 billion by 2027.

The Global Market Insights report says the growing significance of accurate access control systems across corporate organisations and commercial complexes has instigated the deployment of biometric solutions to a great extent.

One of the most widely used biometrics technology is fingerprint recognition, which is considered ideal to ensure accurate employee identification and track attendance automatically.

Facial recognition is also gaining traction, especially in government organisations for tracking criminals. These organisations use facial recognition technology to compare the face features in real-time with the existing database of blacklisted people. The growing popularity of these technologies is accelerating the expansion of biometrics market.

Retail & e-commerce
The mounting popularity of biometrics in retail and e-commerce industry can be ascribed to the growing necessity to understand in-store consumer behavior among large retailers. They are majorly incorporating analytics with facial recognition for the same and to offer customised services according to individual preferences.

Quoting an instance, in 2020, CyberLink Corp collaborated with NTT DATA to deploy a remote retail solution based on the former’s FaceMe facial recognition engine, at an unstaffed concept store. According to the company, this integrated solution combines remote serving, anonymized AI data analytics, and digital information monitors to facilitate a strong self-service customer experience.

Iris recognition technology 
Iris recognition technology is witnessing heightened demand as it offers higher accuracy in the process of user authentication. The identification algorithms used in this technology locate the boundaries of the iris and processes the image to deliver a concise and distinct representation of individuals’ iris pattern.
In addition, iris recognition has a very lower false match rate and is primarily used where the size of the population is large. For instance, in India, iris data from over one billion people has been collected for the Aadhaar Unique Identity programme. Similarly, iris identity validation is used in the air and seaports of the UAE.

Automotive sector
The automotive makers are now increasingly integrating their vehicles with in-car biometric solutions for user authentication, driver liveness detection, and payments. These systems allow automakers to enhance passenger convenience. For instance, voice-enabled access control technology helps in addressing car thefts by enabling accurate user identification.

Another technology that is in huge demand in the automotive sector is iris recognition. Hyundai Motor Group, for instance, is working on adding an iris recognition feature that sends an alert when the driver is not attentive. It detects the risk of intrusion and lane departure caused by the driver’s carelessness in advance and calls the driver’s attention with cluster warning lights, alarm sounds, and vibrations.

Electronics industry
The ongoing expansion of North America’s consumer electronics sector is positively impacting the biometrics industry as electronics manufacturers are now integrating facial recognition and fingerprint authentication features in their devices. This helps in ensuring that the device is being accessed only by authorised individuals.

The integration of biometrics eliminates the need to enter credentials, providing better confidentiality in the event of security breaches caused by password leakage. Besides, the growing adoption of biometric systems in the government and defense sector is also favoring market growth. For instance, the application of voice recognition systems in government facilities enable seamless identification of individuals using their unique voice patterns.

The rising demand for accurate access control across corporate offices coupled with the growing necessity for identification solutions in the automotive sector, BFSI, government organisations, etc. is largely driving the growth of biometrics market. Increasing adoption in the consumer electronics sector and continuous technological advancements are further strengthening the business space.