Biometrics and more will be disrupting ecommerce

Recent research shows that biometrics, federated identity and tokenisation are among the top ten technologies thought to disrupt ecommerce.


The new research, Top 10 Disruptive Technologies in Fintech: 2016, concludes that the technology making the biggest difference to ‘payment completion’ today is biometrics, largely thanks to the proliferation of fingerprint readers in smartphones.

It highlights the use of biometric authentication in both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and argues that use cases and deployments will proliferate in the short and medium term.

Federated identity

Behind biometrics is federated ID, which provides merchants with the ability to gather information on customers in a click – rather than asking them to fill out long forms. Juniper Research observed that Facebook, Google and LinkedIn dominate this area at present, but expects new entrants such as banks, telcos and even governments to increase their presence within the space.

Tokenisation – Secure digital commerce

The study ranks tokenisation as the next most impactful technology. Tokenisation addresses the major e-commerce barrier after user experience: security. By replacing card numbers with randomly generated digits, tokenisation makes the theft of card data pointless. It also prevents merchants from having to store sensitive credentials. Juniper anticipates that the benefits offered by tokenisation, and its support by Visa and MasterCard, will lead to far greater commercial deployment and adoption in the near future.

Summary – a new future in ecommerce

Tim Green, report author said: “Digital commerce is already worth around $1.7 trillion a year, but it still has so far to go. Even after 20 years, it can be hard for consumers to buy the things they want to buy without fuss. Happily, exciting new ideas are on the way.”

However, the research cautions that the top 10 disruptive technologies will invariably develop at different speeds. Unpredictable factors such as new device types and government regulation will accelerate the adoption of some and delay others.


Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.