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Majority of UK consumers trust fingerprints over PINs and want biometric payment cards today


A majority of people in the UK would use biometric payment cards today if they were offered by their bank, according to research revealed by Gemalto, while a survey from IDEX Biometrics shows that 75 percent of UK consumers use cards most often for in-store purchases.

The Gemalto survey, conducted by GfK, shows that of the 54 percent who said they are ready to use a biometric payment card, it would be their preferred payment card for 82 percent. While 41 percent expressed concern that their fingerprint will not work all the time, and 37 percent are concerned about their fingerprints being compromised, 8 out of 10 think the new cards will provide both improved security and convenience.

Asked what characteristics new cards would need for them to switch, 88 percent of respondents said better security, 79 percent said being offered by a trusted bank, 69 percent said ease of use, and 60 percent said it should simplify their lives.

“We are delighted to see that the British public is ready to embrace this new generation of biometric payment cards,” Gemalto SVP Banking and Payment Howard Berg says. “Our payment experts have worked hard to design a card that’s not only safe and secure but also easy to use and which provides a more convenient payment experience than ever before. Banks are showing great enthusiasm with ongoing trials and we look forward to launching biometric cards in the UK in the near future.”

The IDEX survey shows that while card payments are much more popular than cash, which is used most often by 21 percent, only 3 percent are using mobile payments in-store. The possibility of no longer having access to a physical debit card and relying on mobile platforms is a cause for concern for 72 percent of those surveyed. In the event of a lost mobile phone, 60 percent of those surveyed would be worried that others could gain access to their accounts.

“It is evident that the UK public won’t be ditching payment cards in favor of mobile payments in the near, or even distant, future. Banks must face this and innovate with cards, which have stayed largely the same for decades,” comments Dave Orme, IDEX Biometrics SVP.

The survey also shows a high level of personal attachment to payment cards. People see the need to move beyond chip and PIN technology, however, as 53 percent say they would trust fingerprints over the traditional PIN to authenticate payments.

Goode Intelligence recently forecasted that 579 million biometric payment cards will be in use by 2023 as biometric payments are adopted by 2.6 billion people.

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