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Survey: Consumers embrace biometric authentication

It's long-accepted wisdom that the American masses will resist biometric identification as an intrusion into their privacy. However, the uptake of Apple Touch ID and subsequent biometric technologies for unlocking mobile devices seems to have effectively won over those masses for the most part.

A new study, The Retail Banking Biometrics Confidence Report, by EyeVerify finds that consumers not only believe that biometric technologies are more secure authenticators than passwords, but also would like to have more biometrics options for mobile banking.

Eight out of 10 (79 percent) of respondents said they want the opportunity to use more biometric authentication methods beyond the fingerprint (eye, face, fingerprint, and voice) to access mobile banking or payment apps. Additionally, 42 percent said they wouldn’t use a banking or payment app that doesn’t offer biometric authentication.

“Most people use some form of biometrics every day, but they want more opportunities to use it to make their lives easier and more secure,” EyeVerify founder and CEO Toby Rush said in a press release. “Banks and payment providers have a huge opportunity right now to build brand trust by giving customers the user experience they wantThose who are investing in biometrics authentication will be able to increase customer usage and reduce risk at the same time.” 

Takeaways from the report include:

Biometrics drive more frequent app use — With the elimination of friction associated with password entry, customers are logging into mobile apps more frequently, giving financial institutions more opportunity to engage and provide value through their mobile apps. Twenty-one percent check their mobile banking and payment apps more than once a day when biometrics are enabled.

Familiarity breeds comfort — Consumer appetite for newer forms of biometrics — e.g., eye, face and voice recognition — is growing as users become more familiar with the concept of using physical characteristics to authenticate their identity. A comparison of those who use fingerprint scanning to the general population reveals that the more frequently an individual uses the technology, the more likely it is that he or she will use other biometrics modalities for mobile banking and payments.

Biometrics drive higher brand trust — Biometrics reflect positively on brands; 82 percent of survey respondents believe that banks offering biometric authentication are proactively addressing mobile security. More than three-quarters (78 percent) agree that mobile apps with biometrics are more secure than apps that don’t use it, and 82 percent say biometrics are more secure than passwords for mobile banking and payment transactions.

EyeVerify surveyed a representative sample of U.S. adults who have used biometric authentication for mobile financial services within the last 12 months. The web-based survey was fielded March 13–24.