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Consumers still not sold on biometrics payments security

Biometric payments are poised for significant growth, but substantial consumer security concerns could put its future at risk.

Sixty-one percent of consumers feel that providing companies with their fingerprint and iris information put their personal identity information at risk, according to “Vital Insights into Biometric Payments Adoption,” a report from Transaction Network Services.

In the last year, 15% of adults have made a biometric payment, including a quarter of 18 to 24 year olds. However, many consumers remain wary, especially male consumers in the United States and the U.K. In Australia, women reported security concerns.

The good news is that trust is building, albeit slowly. Adults in the U.S. increased biometric payments usage slightly since TNS’ last survey two years ago. Usage in the last year has been greatest among U.K. adults.

Looking ahead, 68% of consumers believe biometric payments will become more commonplace in the next 2-5 years. Fingerprints were chosen as the most popular identifier overall, the study revealed.

“The industry needs to take measures to both ensure the security of this sensitive information and to convey to consumers what protections are in place,” said Mark Collins, managing director of TNS’ FinTech solutions business in the EMEA region.

“It’s exciting to hear that more than half are willing to use the widening range of biometric identifiers available, which now includes iris and vein scanning, as well as facial recognition and fingerprints,” he added. “Reassurance will be the key to ensuring that biometric payments achieve the successful future that our survey data suggests.”
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