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4 out of 5 UAE consumers would switch payment card provider for biometrics


Not only do 98 percent of consumers in the United Arab Emirates want to use biometrics to make payments in the future, more than four out of five (82 percent) say they are likely to switch their credit or debit card provider if they do not offer biometric authentication in the future, according to a Visa survey reported by ITP.net.

The most popular modality among those surveyed is fingerprints, which 69 percent would like to use for payments, followed by 56 percent who would like to use eye scanning.

Biometrics are considered easier to use by 79 percent, and faster by 77 percent of respondents, while 45 percent consider superior security a benefit, 39 percent see a benefit from payments made at any time and place. Thirty-seven percent say biometric payments would improve security in the event that a PC or mobile device is stolen, and 34 percent say they would benefit from not having to remember PINs and passwords.

“For the payments industry, now is the time to integrate biometric technology into banking apps and customer payments experiences, particularly given more than three quarters of consumers cited they would likely switch away from companies that do not. Identity and authentication is the key to securing digital payments and the industry is gradually moving beyond what you have and what you know to who, what and where you are,” said Neil Fernandes, Head of Risk, Middle East and North Africa, Visa. “There is an opportunity for the UAE payments industry to deliver biometric authentication that benefits consumers, issuers, acquirers and merchants while offering the right balance of convenience and security. Visa is well positioned to facilitate this by working with payment partners to deliver a frictionless and secure payments experience.”

The number of consumers who say they would switch their bank (79 percent) and mobile phone provider (77 percent) is almost as high as the number who would change payment card providers.

It was revealed last month that Kona I is providing energy harvesting technology for Visa’s biometric payment card pilot projects, which Fingerprint Cards, Precise Biometrics, and Gemalto are also partners in.

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