Juniper Research (www.juniperrsearch.com) has revealed the top technologies that it believes will do the most to transform e-commerce this year. Leading the list are biometrics, federated identify, and tokenization.
The research group concludes that the technology making the biggest difference to “payment completion” today is biometrics, largely thanks to the proliferation of fingerprint readers in smartphones due to the use of biometric authentication in both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Juniper argues that use cases and deployments will proliferate in the short and medium term.
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 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.
The study ranks tokenization as the next most impactful technology. Tokenization addresses the major e-commerce barrier after user experience: security. By replacing card numbers with randomly generated digits, tokenization makes the theft of card data pointless. It also prevents merchants from having to store sensitive credentials. Juniper anticipates that the benefits offered by tokenization, and its support by Visa and MasterCard, will lead to far greater commercial deployment and adoption in the near future.
“Digital commerce is already worth around $1.7 trillion a year, but it still has so far to go,” says analyst Tim Green. “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, Juniper 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.