Studies Reveal That Consumers Are Confused by Biometrics for Payments

by Karen Augustine 0

Biometrics Eye Scan

In a recent article from Planet Biometrics, the author reported the results of two different surveys conducted in a similar time frame, one which stated that consumers find biometrics risky for payments given security concerns while another survey showed broad consumer appeal.

In a recent survey of more than 3,000 consumers by Paysafe, a payments platform and research firm, Loudhouse, 40% of respondents said biometric solutions are too risky to use right now, though nearly 1 in 3 already use mobile wallets, and about 18% have used biometric verification when buying online.

Yet, in another survey of 1,000 US consumers conducted by Viewpost, 80% support biometrics use for payments over the next ten years.  This is not necessarily contradictory, as the author suggests.

In fact, our latest results from our 2017 CustomerMonitor Survey Series Payment survey, soon to be released in an upcoming report on Consumers and Mobile Payments, consumers are having difficulty using biometrics alone on their smartphones that incorporate fingerprint readers, with only a small fraction of users citing they only use the fingerprint reader, and less than half of Apple iPhone 6 or 7 users report using the fingerprint reader on their phones, though significantly more do in 2017 than in 2016.  Biometrics is a new capability and many consumers that have the capability still may not understand how to use it or when it is used.

When smartphone owners were asked what type of security code would they feel most comfortable using for payments on their mobile phone, 38% prefer fingerprint readers, 34% prefer passwords consisting of 4 or more digits or characters, 23% prefer shorter passwords, 13% prefer facial recognition and 10% prefer or voice recognition. When aggregated, 47% prefer biometrics and 51% prefer a password of any length.  Consumers want to use biometrics and assume it will improve over time.

For more information on consumer use of mobile payments and biometrics, please refer to Mercator Advisory Group’s CMSS Insight Report, Mobile Payments: Market Leadership Is Up For Grabs as well as a soon to be released updated report on mobile payment use, based on an online survey of 3,000 U.S. adults reflective of the U.S. Bureau of the Census demographic profile and accessible by CustomerMonitor Survey Series members.