Biometrics a Hit with U.K. 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.

Visa polled around 2,000 consumers in the United Kingdom as part of a Europe-wide Biometrics Payments study. When asked who they would trust to offer biometrics authentication as a service to confirm identity, the largest percentage selected banks (85 percent) and payment networks (81 percent) ahead of global online brands (70 percent), and smartphone companies (64 percent). This level of trust has grown significantly in the past two years, up by 20 percentage points from 65 percent in 2014, when the study was first conducted.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers (64 percent) want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication and familiarity is increasing the comfort level of British consumers. The growth in fingerprint authentication for mobile payments is bringing to life the benefits of biometric authentication, which is why 80 percent of the people surveyed said they were the most comfortable with fingerprint recognition. Fingerprint authentication (88 percent) is also viewed as the most secure form of payment, ranking higher than other biometric authentication options such as iris scanning (83 percent) and facial recognition (65 percent).

Kevin Jenkins, U.K. and Ireland Managing Director at Visa, said: “Banks have a tremendous opportunity in this payment revolution. From trialling voice recognition to behavioural biometrics for authentication, we’re already seeing banks—both high street and challenger banks, alike—making positive steps to adopt this technology in a variety of use cases. This consumer confidence in both authentication as well as the storage of their biometric data gives banks the perfect win-win scenario, enabling them to provide a service that the public wants which will also benefit the banks, themselves.

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