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More digital engagement means more fraud and passwords, boosting biometrics’ appeal

Reports from TransUnion and Entrust
More digital engagement means more fraud and passwords, boosting biometrics’ appeal
 

The possibility of greater convenience and security together is positioning biometrics to dethrone passwords as the top choice for authentication among consumers, according to a new report from Entrust. Another report shows digital transactions continue to fall short on security.

The volume of fraud committed online as a share of transactions remains roughly in line with pre-pandemic volumes, according to a new report from TransUnion. As a total number, it is a different story, with an increase in digital transactions since 2019 accompanied by an 80 percent rise in incidents of fraud.

Credit card fraud remained the most common type of digital fraud in 2022, at 6.5 percent of fraud attempts, according to the 2023 State of Omnichannel Fraud Report. Account takeovers (6.3 percent) and ‘true identity theft’ (6.2 percent) followed. Gaming and retail were the most frequently attacked industries, and data breaches fueled digital identity engineering and previously-unseen outstanding credit balances attributed to synthetic identities, TransUnion found.

Fraud was suspected in 4.6 percent of customers’ digital transactions in 2022, around the same as in 2019, but the number of transactions “digital fraud trends pointed to industries that saw significant growth in consumer digital engagement,” says Shai Cohen, senior vice president and global head of fraud solutions at TransUnion.

Entrust’s report reveals an adverse effect on convenience related to the increase in digital engagement.

The Entrust Cybersecurity Institute surveyed 1,450 consumers worldwide to gain insights into authentication practices for its The Future of Identity Report.

The report reveals that consumers desire more convenience regarding identity credentials. When given a choice between biometrics or a password, 74 percent of respondents will select biometrics at least half the time and one-third always choose it when available. Similarly, 70 percent would likely use a digital government-issued ID if available.

However, consumer awareness of the new technology is lagging. When asked if they had an electronic ID (eID), one-fifth of respondents were unsure.

The survey findings suggest that convenience is the primary reason consumers use eIDs.

Consumers say they have too many credentials to remember, with 51 percent of respondents having to reset a password at least once per month because they don’t know it and 15 percent doing so weekly.

“Both digital and physical identities have pros and cons — but it’s not a zero-sum game. Offering consumers access to both formats affords them the flexibility to choose what works best for them or for a given situation,” says Anudeep Parhar, the COO at Entrust.

That said, when it comes to feeling comfortable with organizations owning and storing a digital identity, consumers are split down the middle on whether or not they think organizations can be trusted with their data. Entrust’s study highlights the need for businesses to provide convenient and secure digital experiences to gain consumer trust.

The digital identity market is estimated to reach $70.7 billion by 2027, with North America forecast to have the largest market size.

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