Deloitte Australia forecasts growing use of biometric mobile security

November 10, 2016 - 

Deloitte Australia has released the results of its third annual Mobile Consumer Survey 2016, which signals an increasing shift towards biometric smartphone security, according to a report by iTWire.

The research provides both local Australian and global insight into how 53,000 consumers across 31 countries are using their smartphones and their related preferences.

Deloitte Australia partner and head of the firm’s strategy & operations practice, Jeremy Drumm, said that there will soon be a growing use of smartphone tap and go for transactions in Australia as consumers gradually overcome concerns about security.

“We are all now so accustomed to waving our card to make a payment so I can’t see why consumers wouldn’t transition to simply using their smartphone instead, which is to some extent easier than pulling out your credit card from the wallet,” Drumm said. “It will come down to consumer confidence in security, the seamlessness of the transaction and whether or not the various providers could consider additional benefits or reward point schemes.”

Drumm said there are two major benefits for combining biometrics and smartphones, including a “secure and simpler way to authenticate a user” and that it facilitates a “much more seamless payment or transaction process”.

The application of biometrics and smartphones will increasingly have a “rather profound impact across a number of areas including in healthcare to identify patients and access records”, or in retail for “time and attendance verification and workforce management”, Drumm said.

The move toward biometric smartphone security shows that the growth in the use of biometrics for smartphone security in Australia is being driven by two key factors: first, the dominance of Apple and Samsung devices (which both feature the fingerprint reader) in the Australian market, and second, by “the simple convenience of biometrics”, Drumm said.

Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey 2016 found that 35% of Australian mobile consumers have a fingerprint scanner on their smartphone, which is considerably higher that the global average of 28%.

However, the study also found that in terms of uptake of the fingerprint reader for authentication purposes, only 66% of Australian mobile consumers have used biometrics compared with the 71% global average.

In other regions of the world, 41 percent of Norway’s mobile consumers said they have a scanner and 73 percent said that they use fingerprint reader for authentication purposes.

”Australians make an estimated 100 million imprints a day using smartphone fingerprint scanners, showing that we are becoming more comfortable with our fingerprint being used for authentication,” said Stuart Johnston, partner and leader of Deloitte Australia’s technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) group. “Biometrics and smartphone adoption may provide us with an alternative to having to remember, or even write down, the multitude of passwords required by our growing online accounts, which can be relatively insecure.

Johnston said that the growing acceptance of biometrics is expected to increase the range of applications for fingerprint readers.

He also said that the increasingly complex transactions using biometrics security are becoming more prevalent in Australia.

“As consumers and business have become more accepting of biometrics, they are being used for higher-value in-store and app payment verification, and the fingerprint can now be used to authorise a transaction as high as the user’s credit card limit,” Johnston said.

Deloitte expects the use of fingerprint readers to increase over the next few years as they are integrated into mid-range smartphone models and “users become more comfortable with the authentication process”.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.