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Majority of European consumers trust organizations using biometrics for online authentication


More than two in three Europeans (68 percent) would trust organizations more if they used biometrics for authentication, according to survey results released Tuesday by Unisys. The survey results indicate broad consumer support for biometric online authentication.

Unisys surveyed 3,500 consumers in seven European countries about their opinions on the use of biometric authentication for online accounts and trust levels in organizations managing and storing their personal data. Their responses show 63 percent believe biometrics are stronger than traditional PIN and password authentication, and half reporting that not having to remember passwords is a major benefit.

Sixty-one percent of European consumers would be happy with fingerprint scanning as the method of authentication, the most of any modality, with 57 percent saying it is the most secure, while 41 of respondents would be happy with iris recognition.

“We are seeing the need for more than just the traditional password and PIN as the sole method of authentication. Mobile device usage has bought biometrics to the mainstream as more people access their phones via a fingerprint reader,” said Unisys Global Chief Security Architect Salvatore Sinno. “With the arrival of the iPhone X, facial recognition will most likely become just as commonplace. It’s good to see the public across Europe putting trust in this technology. In today’s environment it makes sense for organisations to have a multi-layered approach to security, to address new legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and reassure the public and build trust between consumers and service providers.”

Biometric authentication is more fun, according to 9 percent of respondents. The average time respondents said they would wait for an online sign-in process is 25.5 seconds, showing a clear area of potential benefit from biometrics.

Just over half of European consumers trust banks to manage data and provide a seamless experience, 45 percent trust governments to do so, and 12 percent trust social media companies the same way.

A recent Worldpay report found 63 percent of shoppers are willing to use biometric authentication.

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