Biometrics is the fastest emerging technology in the Indian securities and identification market and is finding increasing application in various government and nongovernment applications such as driving license, e-passport, land records as well as time and attendance. It is gradually gaining ground at the expense of conventional methods of identification and security checks like physical checks, photo IDs, tokens and passwords.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan entitled “Indian Biometric Market”, finds that the market earned revenues of more than $US120 million from the combined sale of biometric readers and cards in 2009 and estimates this to reach more than $1 billion in 2015.
"There is an increasing need to secure people, assets, information and facilities by managing access control for authorized people," said Sagarina Rai, Research Analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "The Indian biometrics market is receiving a huge boost from large-scale government projects increasing public awareness and rising security concerns."
Owing to India's large population, identifying oneself in the country is a major hurdle, especially in the rural areas. This has made a solid case for the use of biometrics in the interiors.
Furthermore, due to a rapidly rising economy, there has been a spurt in the need for safety and security solutions among organizations dealing with private and confidential data. The escalation in security threats has also spawned a need for authenticated physical access to building premises, creating vast opportunities for biometrics companies.
As the technology is bundled with the ability to record the time and attendance of employees, it has gained better acceptance across domains. Biometrics' ability to provide high-tech security and access restriction by tracking and preventing fraud has also given it a leg up.
Despite the market's potential, the poor awareness, lack of a unified standard for biometric readers, inadequate expertise and investments are restraining the market. India has not yet started manufacturing biometric devices domestically because the sensors have to be imported. Owing to a surfeit of imports, the market is flooded with low-cost and low-quality devices. As these devices often fail to meet quality standards, customers' confidence in the technology is fast eroding.
Nevertheless, the penetration of Internet and mobile services in far-flung areas has made novel technologies accessible to all.
"Further, technology upgrades have reduced the costs of biometric devices, popularizing it among all classes of users," Rai said.