Strong growth of German biometrics market

The German market for biometrics will grow by more than 200 percent in the years to come. This is a finding of a study by Roland Berger. From about 120 million Euros in the year 2006 turnover will presumably grow to 300 million Euros by the year 2010. The most important technology remains that of finger print recognition. Also growing is the importance of face recognition.

The study which was carried out by order of the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) predicts that the share of face recognition technology in the total biometrics market will grow from currently 20% to 30%.

According to experts, the biometrics technology leads to many new applications in particular in the banking sector and in retail trade. In the banking business, biometric procedures can be used in automated teller machines, internet and telephone banking or for payments carried out using bank cards. In e-commerce, by means of biometrical applications, it is possible to check online payments. The advantage of biometrics in comparison to traditional technologies: While cards of identity or passwords may be forgotten, lost or counterfeit, fingerprints, iris, face or voice are inseparably linked to a person.

Currently there are about 100 German companies employing thousands of people which operate in the field of biometrics or work on systems integration. Most of these companies are located in Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg. Next on this list are Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia as well as Berlin. Given that most of these companies are small and medium-sized entities they quite often do not have sufficient capital in order to finance research, development and international marketing.

The market for biometrical technologies is, however, strongly influenced by political decisions. Soreon Research estimates the share by governments in total demand to amount to 45% of the total German biometrics market by 2009. The importance of public demand also explains why biometrics is so hot an issue in the USA. There turnover in the biometrics industry amounts to 0.05% of GDP which is almost three times as high as in Europe. According to estimates by the International Biometric Group global turnover in the biometrics industry will rise from 1.8 billion Euros in 2006 to 4.8 billion Euros in 2010. GERMAN