According to a study by Visa, 99% of the respondents said they are personally interested in using at least one biometric method to verify their identity, and an equal number of participants said they are interested in using at least one biometric method to make payments. Photo: iStockphoto
According to a study by Visa, 99% of the respondents said they are personally interested in using at least one biometric method to verify their identity, and an equal number of participants said they are interested in using at least one biometric method to make payments. Photo: iStockphoto

Indian consumers favour biometrics over passwords: Visa

Indian consumers find the use of biometrics for unlocking accounts and payments much easier and more convenient than traditional passwords or PINs, a survey conducted by Visa shows

New Delhi: Despite the fear of security breaches, most Indian consumers are rapidly adopting different biometric means such as fingerprint, facial, and voice recognition, to verify their identity as well as to make payments, a survey conducted by digital payments company Visa showed.

The survey, which was conducted to explore the awareness and perceptions of biometric authentication in India, revealed that consumers find the use of biometrics for unlocking accounts and payments much easier and more convenient than traditional passwords or PINs - which are difficult to type onto tiny keyboards, easy to forget, and can be stolen.

However, around 51% of these users are also concerned about the risk of a security breach of sensitive biometric information, it said.

Biometric information means photograph, fingerprint, iris scan, or other biological attributes of an individual.

“The payments ecosystem is witnessing a rapid change in adoption of new form factors of payments and modes of authentication. For financial institutions, the time has never been better to integrate biometric technology into banking apps and payments experiences for customers," said T.R.Ramachandran, group country manager, Visa (India & South Asia) in a statement on Tuesday.

The study, conducted on a sample size of 500 Indians by AYTM Market Research, said, 99% are personally interested in using at least one biometric method to verify their identity, and 99% are interested in using at least one biometric method to make payments.

Today smartphones have advanced features increasing the accuracy and speed of biometrics, such that they can be used for financial transactions, added Ramachandran.

Higher income consumers are more interested than lower income consumers in facial recognition, the survey showed. The findings of the study comes at a time when the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Monday moved to enable facial recognition as an additional means of Aadhaar authentication. The service will be made available on registered devices from 1 July.

According to UIDAI, face recognition is going to help in inclusive authentication of those who are not able to biometrically authenticate due to worn-out fingerprints, old age or hard work conditions.

To be sure, as of now, UIDAI provided two modes of biometric authentication- fingerprint and iris scan.

The survey also highlighted that consumers are more familiar with fingerprint recognition—32% having used it once or twice and another 63% using it regularly. By comparison, about 48% have used voice recognition in the past and 26% use it regularly.

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