The shift away from passwords and pin numbers cannot come soon enough for the majority of UK consumers, with nearly three-fifths (57%) saying they would be happy to ditch traditional methods and embrace biometric verification.
According to new research from Equifax, there is still widespread criticism towards current verification practices, with half of those surveyed (50%) having given up on an online registration process for a financial product through a range of frustrations.
Of those, 52% abandoned a registration attempt because they felt the process was too long, while 46% said it was too complicated. Nearly four in ten (38%) said they gave up because they didn’t have all of the required documents and information to hand, with 21% saying they did not trust that the process was secure.
The survey, conducted online with OnePoll, revealed that people felt positively about the idea of biometrics, with speed (40%), security (27%) and confidence (21%) being top of feedback on its use. Negative feedback was generally much lower, such as the fear of using biometrics (13%) or that people feel self-conscious using it (13%).
Equifax head of ID and fraud Keith McGill said: “Biometric technology continues to progress and be considered a more mainstream form of verification. It provides a more secure identification model for both companies and end users and can help financial institutions grow trust and confidence with their customers so it is very positive to see this recognised.
“It’s no surprise to see such frustrations towards the myriad of passwords, pin codes and security phrases. People are encouraged to always have unique information for each website or account they hold, meaning a list of codes and phrases that is unrealistic for many to remember given the volume of registration processes they are asked to undertake in modern society. Lengthy, complicated and onerous registrations will soon be a thing of the past, with biometrics leading the way in the future of identity verification and modern financial relationships.”
NatWest has been one of the UK’s leading financial services companies in pioneering the technology, having run trials for a "fingerprint payment fob" which enables customers to make contactless payments up to £100 without a bank card or mobile phone. The bank has previously piloted biometric debit and credit cards.
And the industry is poised for growth, according to a recent report from 360i Research. It forecasts that the global biometrics market will soar from $14.9 billion (£11.2 billion) in 2018 to $42.9 billion (£32.6 billion) in 2025, a CAGR of 16.3% driven by the low price and easy installation of fingerprint authentication, and its use in travel and other government applications.