Biometrics a Hit with UK Consumers

Nearly two-thirds of British consumers want to use biometrics to authenticate payments, with fingerprint scans the most popular method, according to new research from Visa.

The credit card giant polled around 2,000 consumers in the UK as part of a Europe-wide Biometrics Payments study.

Sixty percent of respondents said they trusted banks to keep their information safe, and only 33% said they trusted the government.

More generally, trust in biometrics appears to have grown over the past 12-24 months, with banks (85%), payment networks (81%), global online brands (70%), and smartphone companies (64%) all being trusted to offer these types of authentication method.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given its use on Apple devices, fingerprint scanning (88%) was seen as the most secure form of payment – just above iris scanning (83%) and facial recognition (65%).

Paco Garcia, CTO at start-up Yoti, explained that the banks are leading the way in biometrics under pressure from “digitally native newcomers” to the industry.

“Biometrics introduce better fraud detection, better identity management, better audit trails, better internal controls and, as a result of all of that, more trust from consumers. As such, the public sector should be looking to the financial industry for inspiration on how it can keep up with changing consumer trends,” he added.

“Today’s report highlights some key opportunities for the government to encourage more consumer trust by introducing innovative security technologies. The government needs to show consumers that it is using the latest security measures and looking after consumer data. Once it does this, confidence will grow and biometrics will really become the norm across all industries.”

However, just a few months ago a different piece of research had rather different findings.

Back in August, cybersecurity consultant Jessica Barker interviewed 1,000 people about their attitudes to biometrics.

More than half (51%) said they wouldn’t use the technology, either because they don’t trust it (29%) or they don’t understand it (22%). On the other side, only a third (36%) said they’d consider it while 13% claimed they already use biometrics.

Even more surprisingly, the age group least likely to migrate to the new authentication tech appeared to be 18-24-year-olds.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?