Banking Technology

Banking Consumers Prefer Biometrics Over Passwords

Biometrics is a preferred method of authentication for banking customers, according to a study conducted by Visa.

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. The survey confirms that consumers continue to have a strong interest in new biometric technologies that make their lives easier.

“For financial institutions, the time has never been better to integrate biometric technology into banking apps and payments experiences for customers,” says 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.”

Authentication Survey Findings

According to the Visa study conducted by AYTM Market Research, 86% of consumers are interested in using biometrics to verify identity or to make payments, and more than 65%of consumers are already familiar with biometrics. 70% of consumers believe that biometrics are easier and 46% think they are more secure than using passwords or PINs. 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, with 30% having used it once or twice and another 35% using it regularly. By comparison, about 32% have used voice recognition in the past and only 9% use it regularly.
  • 70% of respondents find biometrics easier than passwords and 61% consider it faster. Fewer than a third of consumers use unique passwords for each of their accounts.
  • 50% of consumers responded that the top benefit of using biometrics is eliminating the need to remember multiple passwords or PINs, followed by 46% who said that biometrics is more secure than passwords or PINs for verifying identity.
  • 49% are concerned both about the risk of a security breach of sensitive biometric information and that biometric authentication won’t work well or will take multiple tries.


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