Biometrics enables the secure delivery of government services to the citizens. In 2010, the India’s Aadhaar program was launched by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), aimed to provide each Indian resident with a unique identification number to enable secured access to citizen services in an easy, electronic, and cost- effective way. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was the world’s largest biometric project in history run by Indian government to register its 1.2 billion people with biometrics data. The system has reached the kind of scale that no other biometric identity system in the world has achieved so far. Up to date, almost 1 billion people have been biometrically enrolled. With the Aadhaar enrollment stage is going down to the finish line, the authentication market of the Unique Identification (Aadhaar) number will become extremely vibrant soon with many sorts of services and applications in both public and private sectors such as: border control, banking, smartphone, healthcare, automotive, etc.
The Aadhaar authentication is to enable Aadhaar-holders to prove their identity and for service providers to confirm the citizen’s identity in order to supply services and give access to benefits. Aadhaar Authentication will make life simpler for the resident as it is meant to be a convenient system to prove one’s identity without having to provide identity proof credentials or documents whenever a resident seeks for services. According to a recently published report by Researchandmarkets, India biometrics authentication and identification market is predicted to grow from $823.46 million in 2014 to $2.06 billion in 2020, estimated 16.47% increase from 2015 to 2020. It’s also stated in the report that the rapid increase of smartphones and tablets number has been mostly responsible for ramping up the sales for the market and increasing adoption of E-Commerce services.
Since the authentication framework was established in 2011 by Aadhaar, there have been many biometric deployments by the government. In 2012, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched a biometric micro ATM device that would enable beneficiaries like workers with Aadhaar to withdraw money near their doors through core banking system. In September 2014, the Indian government has launched a Biometric Attendance System (BAS) using the Aadhaar number provided through the UIDAI. Employees are registered using their Aadhaar numbers and log in and out daily. Their attendance records can be tracked on a dashboard, aggregated across organizations and accessed by anyone on the BAS public website. Furthermore, in March 2015, India’s Andhra Pradesh state has launched an iris-based identity management solution for enhancing pension distribution system where more than half of the total pensions are old age pensions with illiteracy and regional languages barriers. With those efforts from the Government, it is said by IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that the government has saved about $2.2 billion in its Direct Benefit Transfer program, and about $350 million in its Public Distribution System.
Recently, a very big mobile project is carrying out by Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY). DeitY once said to enforce all mobile phones sold in India to provide iris scanners in May 2015. Following the event, iris technology giants all over the globe are going through very tough quality tests conducted by DeitY’s attached office, the Standardization Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate. Mobile market in India is considered the fastest growing mobile market in the world. With the integration of iris recognition on mobile and smart devices, there will be a myriad of applications such as mobile payments, e-commerce, pension benefit and many other social subsides. We’re now really looking forward to a near future where integrated mobile devices with built-in iris scanner at affordable price and adequate security would make one-touch mobile authentication secure and convenient for millions of consumers.
Biometrics has emerged as an important tool in identity management, helping various industries enhance the integrity and reduce fraudulent. As soon as the Aadhaar project finishes its enrollment stage, the adoption of biometrics in Indian authentication market is expected to grow rapidly with more than 1.2 billion consumers to ensure authenticated access and avoid security breaches.