Young People ‘Ready To Replace Passwords With Biometric Security’

biometric scanning

Visa Europe study finds large majority of 16-24 year olds are comfortable using biometrics

The days of the password could be numbered following research that found younger British consumers would have no problem with using biometric data to verify their accounts instead.

Research conducted by Visa Europe found that three-quarters of 16-24 year olds in the UK would feel comfortable using information such as fingerprint scans, facial recognition or retina scanning in place of traditional passcodes.

Overall, three-quarters (76 percent) of this age group said that they would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security, with over two thirds (69 percent) believe this will make their lives faster and easier.

Fingerprint scanning was seen as the most popular form of biometric scanning, with nearly 70 percent of respondents saying they would prefer using these to passwords, followed by retina scans (39 percent) and facial recognition (27 percent).

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The survey found that this so-called ‘Generation Z’ was more likely than older generations to use a single PIN number across multiple accounts, with 34 percent admitting have shared their debit or credit card PIN number with someone, as opposed to 23 percent of all respondents.

These flappy tongues also extended to passwords, with 32 percent have shared their smartphone password, (versus 10 percent of all respondents), and 22 percent have shared their internet banking password, (as opposed to 7 percent overall).

Overall, more than half of Generation Z believed that passwords and PIN codes would no longer be necessary by the end of the decade.

“Biometric authentication using fingerprint recognition or retinal scans offers an ideal solution, combining unique security and ease of use,” said Jonathan Vaux, executive director at Visa Europe. “As products come online with these features integrated, we expect to see multiple passwords as the industry standard begin to decline.

“For banks and product providers this means two challenges. Firstly, to continue and quicken the pace of development on biometrics to answer this demand from Generation Z. Secondly, to continue to evaluate the increasing range of authentication options to ensure customer convenience and security as payment increasingly becomes embedded into a range of applications.”

Backing for biometric security has been growing recently as consumers look to protect themselves better online. Several leadings smartphone devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6, now come with fingerprint scanners, and recent findings from research firm Acuity found that Christmas 2014 has been a bumper year for the biometrics industry, with consumers capitalising on mobile payment technology to do their seasonal shopping more than ever.

The firm forecasts that intensifying demand for smart phones, tablets, and wearable mobile devices that incorporate biometrics will drive a global market of 2.5 billion users with nearly 4.8 billion biometric devices by 2020.

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