ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts that cumulative online ID and authentication shipments into the banking market vertical will total 1.6 billion in 2018; an increase of 945% when compared to 2012.

Cumulative shipments include secure USB tokens, standalone OTP generators, portable smart card readers, and mobile device software applications. Of the 2018 shipment total ABI Research forecasts that mobile software applications will account for 81% of the total 2018, which only accounted for a mere 22% in 2012.

Mobile device security has become a focal area for improvement since the proliferation of smart phones and tablets. 24/7 access to applications is the new must-have service, which is no different in the online banking world, according to the research group. Improving access and mobility is central to current banking service strategies, but security must be of a level to deter/defeat the emerging threat of cybercrime targeted towards mobile devices.

Extension of functionality and convergence of solutions will prove to be an important aspect within the future market, predicts ABI Research. More information accessed/provided and stored in one place makes mobile devices a more appealing target.

However, in addition to the heightened threat, convergence is providing the opportunity to combine online ID and authentication solutions onto one application, or in this instance, one mobile device. It would be feasible, using NFC technology, for the mobile devices to become the authentication platform, tapping the device onto another secure contactless card/device to authenticate online identities or storing information directly onto secure elements, says ABI Research.