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Most older consumers want biometrics for bank account protection — report

Most older consumers want biometrics for bank account protection — report

A new cybercrime report sponsored by AARP find that those 55 years old and older are adopting more secure data practices to protect themselves from identity theft. And these consumers, by a wide margin, are open to facial recognition and biometric fingerprint scanning for security.

It would appear that consumers in their late 50s and early 60s are still engaged enough to take precautions to prevent subsequent losses of personal information. Half of those 55 and older report enrolling in credit monitoring or identity protection programs, for example.

But that energy dissipates quickly. Consumers 65 and older resist further changes even after they have been the victim of a scam, according to a report prepared by Javelin Strategy & Research for the retiree association.

It found that 70 percent of those older consumers who were victimized keep their obviously ineffective security habits. It might be the inertia of convenience or the zero liability policies that are standard with most cash and credit cards, according to the report.

Regardless, a more nuanced picture of elders using technology is painted. The go-to profile is of naïve or intellectually compromised people getting picked off by online sharpies.

But when Javelin report authors asked survey takers if they had ever fallen for an identity fraud scam, older consumers were as likely to report fraud as consumers of all ages.

Twenty-seven percent of consumers aged 55 to 64 said they had gotten hurt. Twenty-six percent of consumers who were 65 and older reported being victimized, and 27 percent of all consumers reported being hit.

Then there is the stereotype that older people are slow to adopt and adapt to new information tech. That is still true, as spotlighted in the Javelin report, but that is hardly the whole image.

For instance, those aged 55 and older, according to a report survey, overwhelmingly want their banks to use fingerprint biometrics and face scanning to protect their money.

Ninety percent are ready to use fingerprint recognition. And about 80 percent would trust the use of facial recognition for banking.

In a related — and just as unexpected — twist, the report found that a greater percentage of people who are 55 years old and older use online banking weekly than the percentage of consumers aged 18 to 44.

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