UK public warms to biometric card use but data storage concerns remain

53 per cent of UK cardholders would trust the use of their fingerprint to authenticate payments more than their PIN and 56 per cent would feel more secure making purchases if their card was secured with fingerprint authentication, according to recent research released by IDEX Biometrics.

While the majority of UK consumers may be ready for the introduction of fingerprint-based card authentication, biometric data storage is a concern with 45 per cent concerned that criminals could mimic their biometric data and a further 51 per cent concerned about the possibility of it being stored in a bank’s central database, leaving them exposed to identity theft or the risk of having their personal information used without their knowledge.

“Consumers are ready for the use of biometric fingerprint methods of authentication for card payments and it is set to be a reality in 2019, but banks have a responsibility to address security concerns, particularly in relation to how and such data is held,” explains Dave Orme, SVP at IDEX Biometrics. “It is ultimately up to the banks and the financial services sector to reassure consumers to drive adoption and ultimately tackle fraud head-on.”

“With a resounding 53% of consumers stating they would trust the use of their fingerprint to authenticate payments more than the traditional PIN, this must be where the UK banking industry focuses its attention,” added Orme. “Chip and PIN is now 12 years old, and has seen its course. The consumer demand for fingerprint methods of authentication is a reality, with two-thirds of UK consumers expecting their roll out to authenticate in-store card transactions by 2019.”

According to new research from Goode Intelligence, nearly 579 million biometric payment cards will be used globally by 2023.

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