British people trust banks to provide biometric payments

biometric payment fingerprint

It’s banks, not government agencies, that the British people trust to deliver biometric authentication payment services, says a new Visa study.

According to the research, consumers are nearly twice as likely to trust banks to store and keep their biometric information safe (60%), than they are to trust government agencies (33%).

The most telling statistic comes when people were asked who they would trust to offer biometrics authentication as a service to confirm identity. Eighty-five percent chose banks, followed by payment networks (81%) ahead of global online brands (70%), and smartphone companies (64%).

This high level of trust has been on the increase for the past two years, says Visa, up by 20 percentage points from 65% in 2014, when the Visa Biometric Payments study was first conducted.

It should therefore come as no surprise to learn that as trust in biometrics increases, so does the demand. Two-thirds of consumers (64%) want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication. Visa puts this down to the now ubiquitous sight of people using fingerprint verification to access their smartphones and make payments.

The growth in fingerprint authentication for mobile payments is bringing to life the benefits of biometric authentication, which is why 80% of the people surveyed said they were the most comfortable with fingerprint recognition. Fingerprint authentication (88%) is also viewed as the most secure form of payment, ranking higher than other biometric authentication options such as iris-scanning (83%) and facial recognition (65%).

Kevin Jenkins, UK & 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.

He added that this consumer confidence in both authentication as well as the storage of their biometric data gives banks the perfect “win-win scenario”, allowing them to provide a service that the public wants which will also benefit the banks, themselves.


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