Biometric card survey shows split between desire for stong authentication and data storage concerns

The applications for mass-market biometric smart cards may not end with payments, as 38 percent of UK consumers would like biometric authentication to be used with government identification systems like driving licenses, National Insurance numbers and passports, according to research from IDEX Biometrics.

That number may increase if biometric cards can deliver on their promised reduction of fraud, as 70 percent are concerned that they are exposed to fraud and theft by contactless payments. Just over half (53 percent) meanwhile say they trust a fingerprint-based authentication process more than one relying on a PIN.

In contrast, 44 percent are wary to use fingerprint biometrics for payments or other applications using a card, with the majority of them citing concerns about data storage.

“With the UK keen to demonstrate its capabilities as an innovative tech trailblazer and consumers demanding the introduction of biometrics in payments and for Government issued identification, it is clear traditional card-based methods must evolve to use fingerprint biometric authentication to encourage greater convenience and security,” comments Dave Orme, IDEX Biometrics SVP.

Orme says banks and government bodies need to build consumer confidence and demonstrate the safety benefits of biometric innovation.

“The integration of biometric sensors into smart cards is considered one of the next-generation innovations that will move the payment card market into the 21st century. With 3 billion payment cards issued annually, this presents a big opportunity for the introduction of biometrics on a global scale,” argues ABI Research Analyst Phil Sealy. “However, the payment card authentication process also shares many synergies across multiple markets, such as Government ID, physical and digital access, as well as IoT, where digital security and authentication are paramount. This is a chance to leverage biometrics and bring a convenient and secure method of authentication to the mass market for a wide variety of use cases, tackling fraudulent activity once and for all.”

In a recent review of the biometric card landscape, several industry executives told Biometric Update that 2019 is a key year for the technology, and IDEMIA President of Financial Institutions for North America Megan Heinze specifically noted their potential as replacements for other kinds of ID.

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