Acuity Market Intelligence (AMI) predicted mobile transactions verified with biometric features will hit more than 1 trillion per year and create $18 billion in annual revenue by 2022.

The research company, which assesses the identification technology market, also said there would be 5.5 billion mobile devices used around the world with access to biometric features within the same timeframe.

Improvements in the technology and its growing inclusion in devices is tipped to lead to the sharp growth in adoption. The company noted annual revenue will rise from $474 million in 2017.

AMI said 16.7 billion apps able to use biometric technology would be downloaded in 2022, with transactions authenticated by the technology on track to reach 1.4 trillion in the same year.

Maxine Most, AMI’s principal and lead analyst said: “The market is evolving towards a hierarchy of integrated biometric authentication methods that range from simple device-based verification to third-party biometric cloud, or server-side, solutions. These solutions will replace traditional digital identity schemes and provide more secure and reliable identity assurance on a global scale.”

Fingerprint-reading technology is already available on a wide number of smartphones, but during 2017 several manufacturers have stepped-up moves to adopt facial recognition and other technologies.

Companies keen to adopt biometric-powered payment services include leading Chinese vendor Ant Financial, which runs platform Alipay.

In October, Ant Financial upped its stake in facial recognition company Megvii Technology, and it is already operating a number of trials into new authentication technologies based on biometrics in China.