The promise of biometrics in financial services markets is only now being fully realized. Large-scale deployments involving high-value services require a technology that is both easy to use and reliable. Some programs, such as in India, will involve many millions of users under conditions that are less than ideal.
More developed markets like those in Chile and Brazil have been busy building the infrastructure for secure transactions for more than a decade. These systems have been designed from the beginning to combine biometrics and other user credential—like smart cards—to securely support transactions at ATMs.
Government-issued documents, e.g., national ID or citizen ID cards, now support a variety of financial services programs. These smart credentials, coupled with biometrics authentication, are provisioned for a variety of e-government and commercial services and have enabled more secure online and offline financial transactions.
In the rapidly developing market in India, the government has recently launched a massive and ambitious identification program, known as UID, to enroll more than 1 billion of its citizens over a several year period. This is one of the largest biometrics programs in history. It also makes India arguably the largest biometrics market in the world today.