Ever since man came into being, identifying humans and their cohorts has been a necessity. Today, we use biometrics as the branding iron for identification of human beings.

Biometrics as we know it today is the application of technology employing unique human identifiers such as fingerprints, retina, or voice, to make the process of identification simple and painless. While the concept has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, it only became technologically feasible in the latter half of the 20th century. By late the 1980s, automated forms of biometrics were pioneered resulting in large scale interest, and the start of the 21st century marked a huge step for biometrics towards commercial realisation.

In 2022, the global biometric system market size was valued at 30.77 billion USD, and is expected to grow to 76.70 billion USD by 20291. A market changing 200% increase in projected growth is due to increasing concern for secure authentication and integration into a wide variety of industries, including security, healthcare, financial services and retail.

Industries embracing biometrics


Adoption of biometric devices is escalating in the healthcare space to help decrease the administrative workload and focus on detailed and exhaustive insights of patients and their past records. Innovation in this sector is driven by government initiatives to support the implementation of biometrics in healthcare facilities due to increasing healthcare fraud and medical identity theft.

Biometrics enables operations, such as opening hospital doors, accessing healthcare records and e-prescribing of controlled substances, as well as helping healthcare professionals interacting with patients to log their activities and more.


Online retailing presents opportunities to identify, understand and engage customers with all kinds of data and analytics that helps retailers better understand their customers and their behaviour patterns. 

Adoption of biometric technologies in this field help identify customer buying patterns that directly aid stock maintenance and provide customised services at all times. They can provide relevant data on customers for future cross-sell and upsell opportunities and personalizing services. From a marketer’s point of view, tailored promotions, product suggestions and faster service can be offered to customers whilst staff receive notifications that enable them to approach and assist shoppers faster.


Financial institutions are looking to improve the simplicity of banking and the user experience involved. Recently ATMs have started eliminating pins and embracing fingerprint technology for transactions, globally. 

Large banks are increasingly offering customers the option of using fingerprints, voice, retina scans and other biometric technologies combined with device identification in the background, where an encrypted token is sent from the device to the bank in order to access their bank accounts instead of passwords. Convenience for consumers and better security in these times of rampant data breaches are fueling the switch. 

Fingerprint scanning has emerged as the most popular and widely used form of biometric authentication. But advancements in facial and voice recognition are predicted to usher a new era in banking.

Biometrics is also gaining a foothold in many other sectors such as:

  • Educational institutions seeking to provide a more secure environment to the students
  • IoT in which intelligent automated systems are combined with biometrics
  • Workforce management where attendance and productivity are better monitored through the use of biometrics
  • Travel industry in which airlines are combining different technologies for faster check-ins, faster check-outs and baggage, immigration services using facial recognition to validate identity

There are three major factors that are driving industries towards the adoption of biometrics:


We have become more and more connected to each other. We interact and conduct transactions across the globe from the comfort of our homes and phones. Consumers are increasingly demanding transactional experiences be simple, smooth and secure.


The increasing need for prevention of identity theft has been a key factor in the adoption of biometric technologies in national identification programs globally, introducing consumers to biometric technology as well as paving the way for other industries (banking) and organisations to follow suit.

Technology convergence

The advent of computer technology led to the birth of automated biometrics. Today, different industries (phone, wearables and healthcare; telephone and banking) are readily converging to cater to new applications while addressing existing opportunities. The introduction of biometrics in phones – such as the iPhone X – and wearables are going to make this convergence with other industries more viable and easier. 

Devices of the future have a world of discovery in store for us.


1 Globe Newswire, Biometric System Market Size Worth USD 76.70 Billion by 2029 | Report by Fortune Business Insights, 2023