Wednesday, March 8, 2006

UK Survey - 73% Place Confidence in Biometrics

Unisys has announced survey results from the UK finding that UK consumers place most confidence in biometric technologies, such as fingerprint and eye retina recognition, to help combat identity theft.

The independent survey, commissioned by Unisys, surveyed 1,000 UK households to investigate the incidence of and attitudes towards financial fraud and solutions. The survey revealed that 2 in 3 consumers believe that banks should be turning to biometric technology in order to combat identity theft - a widespread problem which now affects 1 in 4 British adults according to Home Office statistics.

Despite token security being presented as an online authentication standard by some industry bodies, 92% of respondents were unfamiliar with the term and unaware of its use as a security measure. Once explained, only 42% of consumers believed that banks should adopt token security to help combat identity theft.

In comparison, the majority of respondents (73%) stated that biometric technology would assist banks in the fight against fraud and 48% placed confidence in smart cards.

Nigel Moden, Retail Banking Partner at Unisys explains: "Despite some historical resistance around biometric technology, the survey demonstrated a high level of support for this security method - with 73% of consumers placing confidence in biometrics ahead of token security rings and smart cards in the fight against fraud.

Whilst a thorough assessment of the prevention technologies available is critical when determining a strategy to combat fraudsters, banks must not overlook the attitudes and preferences of their customers in the process. Consumers are only going to use technology they are comfortable with and understand."

In addition, biometric technology now costs LESS to implement than Chip and PIN. Combine that with historical data derived from Pay by Touch implementations across the United States, and European retailers will have empirical evidence that biometrics increase average purchases, reduce identity theft and cost less than traditional payment methods such as cheques, credit and debit cards.

The implementation by Midland Co-Operative of PBT (they already have data from trial runs and this is why they expect to roll this out to all 350 stores) will provide important data to other European Retailers (PBT is in negotiations with some large European retailers) The resulting data will be difficult to ignore when choosing whether or not to adopt this payment technology.