Consumers Are Ready to Say Goodbye to Passwords

Consumers welcome the use of biometrics as faster, easier, and more secure alternatives to passwords

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Note with password 123456 on a wooden kitchen wall with pins cybersecurity 3D illustration
Note with password 123456 on a wooden kitchen wall with pins cybersecurity 3D illustration (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

A new Visa survey of 500 South Africans exploring awareness and perceptions of biometric authentication, confirms that consumers continue to have a strong interest in new biometric technologies that make their lives easier.

New forms of authentication, such as fingerprint, facial, and voice recognition, can make unlocking accounts and payments much easier and more convenient than traditional passwords or PINs – which are difficult to type onto tiny keyboards, easy to forget, and can be stolen.

“For financial institutions, the time has never been better to integrate biometric technology into banking apps and payments experiences for customers,” said Mark Nelsen, senior vice president of risk and authentication products, Visa. “Visa is investing in the best ways to add these emerging technologies to our portfolio of products and services. Advances in mobile device features are increasing the accuracy and speed of biometrics, such that they can be used for financial transactions. At the same time, consumers are widely familiar and comfortable with using biometrics for more than just unlocking their phones.”

To help financial institutions and merchants more quickly adopt emerging biometric authentication solutions, the Visa ID Intelligence platform provides a curated selection of leading third-party authentication technologies. Visa clients can create, test and adopt new authentication solutions with simple integrations using Visa APIs and SDKs.

 Authentication Survey Findings

According to the Visa study conducted by AYTM Market Research, 78 percent of consumers surveyed reported that they are familiar with biometrics. The awareness of fingerprint, voice, and facial recognition, as well as eye scanning is high, and 60 percent of consumers use fingerprint recognition on a regular basis.

The top benefits associated with using biometric authentication relate to security, rather than ease of use and convenience. Despite security concerns, South African consumers expressed that biometrics are faster and easier than passwords. Findings from the survey illustrate consumers’ desire to see the implementation of biometric tools in payment authentication processes.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • Consumers were most familiar with fingerprint recognition, almost all consumers have at least tried fingerprint recognition, with six out of 10 using it on a regular basis. At least 60 percent are also interested in using eye scanning to authenticate payments.
  • South African consumers perceive fingerprint recognition to be the most secure and comfortable authentication method, followed by eye scanning. Only a small proportion of South African consumers (6% to 10%) would not use any of these methods to make an online purchase.
  • The top benefits associated with using biometric authentication relate to security, rather than ease of use and convenience. And 57 percent of consumers worry about the potential leak of sensitive information that cannot be changed (e.g. one’s fingerprint).
  • Despite concerns, there is near-total consensus that biometrics are faster and easier than passwords.
  • South African consumers are very interested in being offered fingerprint/ facial recognition-based payments from a variety of providers, including their bank, card network, mobile phone provider, and major online brands.

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