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Biometrics use a driving trend in Australian mobile consumer retail behaviour


Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey 2016 report finds that biometrics use is a driving trend in Australian mobile consumer retail behaviour, with one in three smartphones having a fingerprint scanner, and of these almost 70% of owners use this function regularly, according to a report in Image and Data Manager.

”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,” according to Stuart Johnston, Partner and the leader of Deloitte’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.

“By 2020, Deloitte forecasts that users may have as many as 200 online accounts, each requiring secure controls over access. Biometrics and our smartphone can provide a simple, convenient and quick single tap solution to this challenge.”

Johnston added that with the increasing acceptance of biometrics, the range of applications in which fingerprint readers are used is expected to grow.

“Initially we have seen fingerprints being used as a faster alternative to a numeric password to unlock phones, but this has now extended to unlock applications, and authorize payments for online content from an app store.”

The report finds that 84% of Australians own smartphones, more than the global average (81%) and up from 79% last year. Australians aged 18 – 24 have the highest level of ownership with 94% having access to at least one smartphone.

“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 authorize a transaction as high as the user’s credit card limit,” Johnston said. “Over the next few years we expect usage of fingerprint readers to increase markedly as they are incorporated into mid-range smartphone models and users become more comfortable with the authentication process.

“We also expect the smartphone’s fingerprint reader to be used in conjunction with websites accessed by consumers’ computers to authorize payments. However, for all its evident merits, the fingerprint reader is not infallible,” said Johnston. “It is possible – albeit increasingly difficult – to make copies of a fingerprint. However, the latest fingerprint readers can more readily differentiate between a real finger and a copy of one.”

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