Home News Consumers reluctant to swap passwords for biometrics for fear of identity fraud

Consumers reluctant to swap passwords for biometrics for fear of identity fraud

by Brian Sims

Over half (53%) of consumers in the UK are worried that the shift towards biometrics for authenticating online payments will dramatically increase the amount of identity fraud. That’s according to new research conducted by Paysafe, the global payments provider. The study found that over three-quarters (79%) of consumers still favour passwords for making payments online due to concerns about the security of new biometric options.

According to the data, two-thirds (68%) of consumers worry about being able to pay for goods or services without being asked for a password, while only 40% believe that biometrics are more secure than other authentication methods.

The Paysafe report, entitled ‘Lost in Transaction: The End of Risk?’, explores consumer attitudes to biometrics prior to the roll-out of Strong Customer Authentication later this year. The annual study tracks changing views on payments across the UK, the US, Canada, Germany and Austria (and this year includes Bulgaria for the first time).

Further fears around biometrics

Those consumers who didn’t feel comfortable using biometrics identified a lack of trust as their primary reason for avoiding them. The research also revealed further fears around the use of biometrics as follows:

*Over a third (36%) stated they didn’t want companies having access to their personal biometric details

*30% didn’t know enough about biometrics to trust it

*Over a quarter (27%) were concerned that their fingerprint could easily be cloned and used to commit fraud

*29% said biometrics didn’t seem safe

Commenting on the research, Daniel Kornitzer (chief business development officer at the Paysafe Group) said: “Biometrics are a huge opportunity for the payments industry to combat the increasing risk of Card Not Present fraud. However, it’s not surprising that there’s reluctance among consumers to use biometrics as a form of payment authentication when passwords and PINs have been the central pillar of financial data security for at least 20 years. News headlines are also dominated with fraud and hacking scandals so the public are aware of the risks involved when it comes to adopting new services. To overcome this, consumer education is imperative and, with Strong Customer Authentication coming in September, consumers will need to be aware of the benefits to ensure acceptance and adoption. We’ve lived in a password-driven world for many years now and consumers are not fully prepared to let go of what they know.”

Adoption continues to grow

Despite the worries over biometric transactions, adoption continues to grow with more than half (54%) of British consumers having used biometrics to make a payment. Over half (62%) of consumers in the UK also agree that using biometrics is a much quicker and efficient way of paying for goods and services.

When asked what biometrics they had used, fingerprint technology was the most commonly used biometric (42%) followed by one-in-six (17%) having used facial recognition and one-in-ten (12%) voice-activated technologies.

Kornitzer added: “Consumer acceptance of biometrics is being driven largely by smart phone usage and adoption, and this will only increase. However, payment providers will need to do their bit to make sure that consumers are on board with the change. Ultimately, Strong Customer Authentication should lead to smoother and more secure payments. In other words, a win for businesses and consumers alike.”

*To read the Paysafe report in full visit https://www.paysafe.com/lost-in-transaction-the-end-of-risk/

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