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Digital Identity verification spend to exceed $16.7bn globally in 2026, fuelled by remote onboarding

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Spending on digital identity verification by businesses will reach $16.7 billion in 2026, from $9.4 billion in 2021, according to a new study by Juniper Research.

Digital identity verification is where identity is checked using digitally verifiable elements, such as selfie scans, address checks and knowledge-based authentication. This 77% growth will be fuelled by the rapidly growing need to digitally onboard users, which has accelerated during the pandemic.

The research identified that, while the pandemic accelerated digital transformation, many industries had already been increasing digitisation; reflecting shifting customer appetites and opportunities for operational efficiency. The research therefore recommended seamless digital onboarding is the minimum requirement in the post-pandemic environment, with user expectations demanding processes that are both low friction and high security; necessitating AI use for ongoing, behavioural analytics.

Banking and financial services lead spend

The new research, Digital Identity Verification: Key Opportunities, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2021-2026 market research, found that banking and financial services will account for almost 62% of digital identity verification spend by businesses by 2026. This importance reflects how critical digital verification is in helping banks meet severe regulatory requirements in a complex digital environment.

Research co-author Vladimir Surovkin explains: ‘Digital-only banks have shown that fully digital Know Your Customer can work and is very engaging for the user, therefore the pressure is on for traditional banks to deploy new identity verification services. Managing this transition quickly, and getting the user convenience/security balance right will determine overall success.’

The research also found that the global volume of identity verification checks will exceed 92 billion in 2026, from 45 billion in 2021. The research found while banking & financial services are major drivers of this growth, the broadening of identity verification into areas including remote onboarding for mobile network operators or for digital gambling will create significant opportunities for vendors over the next five years.

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