Consumers Are More Open to Biometrics

But privacy and fraud are still barriers

Nearly half of consumers worldwide have used biometrics—typically based on facial recognition technology—to make some form of payment, according to a Paysafe study.

For many, the benefits are pretty straightforward. Among internet users surveyed in the US, UK, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada and Germany, 44% of respondents identified speed as one of the main advantages of using the technology to pay for goods or services.

Roughly a quarter said they weren’t too good at remembering their passwords, and that’s where the technology would fit in. A larger share (44%) of respondents said biometrics were more convenient than inputting passwords manually.

While biometrics can bring opportunity, they can also raise privacy concerns. In the Paysafe survey, respondents were somewhat split on the topics of security and identity fraud.

When asked whether they worried that using biometrics as a form of payment would cause the amount of identity fraud to dramatically increase, 56% of internet users said they at least slightly agreed with that statement.

However, 47% also slightly agreed that using facial or fingerprint recognition technology to verify their identity means they will never be a victim of fraud.

“In a digitally enabled world where security breaches are commonplace and consumers are growing ever-more concerned about how companies are using their personal information and protecting their privacy, biometric technologies can provide an extra layer of security and protection,” said Victoria Petrock eMarketer principal analyst and author of our February 2019 report, “Top 10 Tech Trends from CES 2019: How 5G, AI and the IoT Are Changing the Status Quo.”

“Though the industry is currently facing a major outcry over privacy, marketers could someday be able to target campaigns or customize products and messaging based on unique traits or behavioral characteristics,” she said.