Government initiatives have always been at the forefront to lead the growth in the biometrics industry. As government biometrics market is slated to witness a moderate growth of 4.6% in 2017, the report aims to explore the myriad opportunities that will fuel growth. Traditionally, terror threats and the need for storing citizen data had vastly driven the adoption of biometrics across the globe. However, recent developments suggest that rise in travel, new eGovernment initiatives such as employment verification, welfare and tax monitoring schemes, and technological advancements extend the limits of growth in the government sector.
Key Market Segments in Government Biometrics Market
OVERVIEW OF KEY MARKET GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
- Increasing air travel dictates customer satisfaction and operational efficiency at border crossing ports
The necessity for increased throughput and security in border crossing remains a high impact driver for adoption of eGates. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) estimates that air traffic will increase by 113% by 2030. According to another estimate from Airbus and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air traffic is expected to grow at an average of 4.5% per year. In the short-term, the US and China are set to witness high traffic than any other country. In 2016, there were an estimated 3.5 billion passengers traveling by air. While in 2017, the number is expected to reach close to 3.8 billion, and by 2018, it will cross the 4 billion mark. This increased air traffic indicates the demand for faster immigration clearance of travelers. By implementing biometrics-enabled eGates, passengers will be able to clear immigration in about less than 10 seconds. All the biometrics-enabled eGates will be able to process passports with a minimum of Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD) standard. As the deadline set by ICAO for implementation of MRTD passports was over by 2015, passengers across the world should be able to utilize eGates by now. That signifies the high demand for more eGates deployment across all air, land, and sea border crossing ports for entry and exit.
Furthermore, as governments all over the world look forward to increasing the revenue from tourism, eVISA provides the right platform to lure more tourists. International visitors find that eVISA platforms help to reduce their procedural hassles as the application and further correspondence is through online. All the necessary information for travel is available on the country’s tourism website, which reduces the reliance on travel agents. However, security concerns mandate biometrics registration of the traveler at the embassy office in the origin destination. It is imperative that eVisa is the need for future, and a breakthrough solution is inevitable to address the concerns of the governments and make the process trouble-free. As eGates and eVisa are complementing to increase operational efficiency and customer experience in border crossing ports, the impact will strongly drive the market during the short term.
- New eGovernment programs across the globe spur growth for biometrics industry
Traditionally, biometrics in eGovernment segment was deployed for issuing national ID cards, health cards, and driving license. While the national ID card implementation is a mature market, only emerging economies such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America have initiated programs during the previous year. As the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) program launched by India has reportedly registered close to 88% of its citizen data, the opportunities created by other emerging economies are not considered to contribute significant revenue. However, several opportunities have sprung up, for instance, developed economies across NA and Europe region are issuing biometrics identification based driving license. Furthermore, welfare schemes monitoring and new applications such as employee workforce management, employment verification, and tax monitoring are promising growth for the industry.
Following are some of the trends noted across the world. India, which is a promising economy, hints the integration of Aadhar card with cross-segment such as PAN card to track tax payments. Similarly, Swedish tax agency looks to develop digital ID platform with Gemalto. Another interesting application is the biometric verification launched by the US for employees to check compliance with US employment eligibility criteria. Furthermore, Nigeria plans to roll out biometric registration for millions of farmers to ensure they receive monetary benefits. Nigeria is also providing biometric-based ID cards for its seaport employees to improve security. The application of biometrics authentication for pensioners is being considered by Jamaica’s Accountant General Department (AGD) to reduce the processing time and documentation procedures. Although eGovernment extends the boundaries for biometric applications, privacy concerns in various countries such as Israel, and reports of India’s Aadhar data leaks will face challenges in applications. A critical development to be noted is the announcement by Kyrgyzstan to replace National ID with ePassports, which on a conservative mindset will lead to decreased investment in this segment.
- New technological advancements trends and growth opportunities
Fingerprint, Facial recognition, iris, finger and palm vein, and multi-modal biometrics are the key technologies used in the government sector. The trends in technological advancements are progressing towards faster processing times in identification and authentication. Widespread developments in facial recognition are apparent with valuable innovation in fingerprint technology. Safran Identity and Security, a biometric industry leader, has developed one of a kind fingerprint scanner which is non-intrusive. An introduction of this device can replace technologies such as facial and iris recognition previously chosen on the basis of hygiene concerns. Combating terror threats and domestic crimes is one of the top priorities across all regions. The integration of facial recognition with artificial intelligence is one of the notable advancements in the law enforcement sector which aims at improved surveillance with predictive and preventive strategic combat approach. Furthermore, handheld devices are expected to empower law enforcement personnel with the integration of cloud services, helping to identify and track criminals efficiently. In summary, all these trends suggest the improved growth opportunities. However, these advancements can provide growth opportunities only if governments could survive the challenges being raised by the privacy groups across the globe. Privacy groups have successfully tested against surveillance and image storing in countries including Israel, the US, and the UK.
Travel trends, new applications, and technological advancements provide a clear base for continued growth opportunities in the government sector. However, privacy concern due to data breach activities is one of the key challenges that the industry has to address.