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Top tech stats: Biometric security, European FinTech funding and much more

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Welcome to your roundup of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week we bring you the latest stats on biometric security, the cybersecurity skills gap, the state of European FinTech funding and the latest predictions for the VR industry.

Mobile biometric security

The majority of consumers (93%) prefer biometric payment authentication over passwords for unlocking payments or other financial services.

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Although 92% of banking professionals want to adopt biometric technology, execution of the technology has been inconsistent and only 36% of relevant executives feel they have adequate experience to deliver.

Ajay Bhalla, president, global enterprise risk & security, Mastercard, commented on the research project in a blog:

“Effective mobile biometrics melt into the broader experience of consumer-centric financial services, giving people the power to instantly access their financial information or make a payment. They’re driving the trend toward a password-free future where digital identity is all about who we are, not what we remember.

Cybersecurity skills gap

According to data released by Indeed, the shortage of cybersecurity expertise means UK businesses will remain at risk of cyber attacks, despite the skill gap shrinking.

Research unveiled by the same firm in January found that Britain’s cybersecurity skills gap was the second worst in the world.

However, the new data reveals that the shortage of people with the most in-demand skills has eased by more than 36% in the past two years.

According to the data, between the first quarter of 2015 and the same period this year, the share of cybersecurity job postings rose by 2.8%, but the share of candidate clicks rocketed by 40.3%.

European FinTech funding

70% of the total capital raised by privately owned FinTech companies in Europe during the Q1 2017 went to those based in London, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

That’s according to FinTech Global, which also found that over a third of the aggregate amount ($1,164m) in FinTech investments was poured into London.

Berlin, which came in second, attracted 12% of the total.

Interestingly, the most significant change seen in the distribution of investments during the same time period, when compared to the data from the previous three years, was that Berlin doubled its share from 6% to 12%.

The data, the report suggests, shows London has maintained its position despite the Brexit vote, but also that some of its European counterparts made huge strides in raising their levels of activity.

Growth in UK VR

The UK’s virtual reality industry will grow at a faster rate than any other entertainment and media industry from 2016-2021, according to PwC’s new Global Entertainment & Media (E&M) Outlook 2017-2021.

Phil Stokes, entertainment and media leader at PwC UK, commented: “We forecast the number of virtual reality headsets in use in the UK will pass 16 million by 2021. Around 12 million of these headsets will be portable mobile VR devices that use a smartphone at their core as these are more affordable for consumers and benefit hugely from the fast evolution and replacement rate of smartphones.

“Dedicated home VR headsets – the higher end devices used for gaming and video – will account for three million consumer headsets, with portable dedicated headsets – a new category of self-contained device that are easier to use and have superior capabilities to smartphone-based devices – forecast to account for one million.”

Rise in video

Additionally, the same report found that the amount of data consumed annually in the UK is projected more than double from 17bn gigabytes in 2016 to 41bn by 2021.

This, the report adds, will be largely driven by internet video consumption on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Revenue from internet video is forecast for overall growth of 9% (CAGR). By 2018, consumer spend on streaming services and on demand video will overtake physical home video, DVD and Blu-ray, which is in terminal decline shrinking at 15% year on year. By 2021, internet video revenue will also surpass box office revenues of £1.3bn by hitting £1.4bn.

Phil Stokes added: “Demand for internet video shows no signs of slowing down. While the vast back catalogue of shows is often credited as the reason for subscribing to internet video services, companies have invested heavily in producing original content. Four of the top 10 programmes watched via subscription video on demand in 2015 were original productions showing that for consumers, fresh, high quality, content is king.”

UK gaming sector

PwC’s report also looked into the UK video gaming industry and highlights that it will continue to be Europe’s largest market and the fifth largest, behind  US, China, Japan and South Korea.

Revenue is forecast for 6% CAGR over the five year period and by 2021 will be worth £5.2bn.

Additionally, the report predicts that UK consumer spend on video games is set to overtake all spending on books, which will reach £5bn by 2021.

Phil Stokes concluded: “With the creative industry being identified as a priority area in the government’s industrial strategy, entertainment and media, particularly digital services, will continue to innovate further and drive prosperity and culture throughout the country.”

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