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UK consumers are still worried about biometric security

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Despite the fact that more businesses are using biometrics as a means of authentication, over half of consumers (56%) are worried that the shift to biometrics to authenticate online payments will lead to an increase in the amount of identity fraud.

The firm's new report, Lost in Transaction: The end of risk? (opens in new tab), was compiled using data from its annual study which tracks changing views on payments across the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Austria and for the first time this year, Bulgaria.

Paysafe's research found that 81 percent of consumers still favor passwords for making payments online due to concerns about the security of new biometric options.

According to the data, two thirds (66%)  of consumers worry about paying for goods or services without being asked for a password and only 37 percent believe that biometrics are more secure than other authentication methods.

Biometric concerns

Consumers who didn't feel comfortable using biometrics identified a lack of trust as their primary reason for avoiding them.

Paysafe's research also revealed that nearly half (45%) of consumers do not want companies having access to their personal biometric details, 35 percent did now know enough about biometrics to trust it, 31 percent were concerned their fingerprint could easily be cloned and used to commit fraud and 28 percent said that biometrics did not seem safe.

Chief Business Development Officer at the Paysafe group, Daniel Kornitzer explained how consumer education about biometrics is required before the rollout of Strong Customer Authentication later this year, saying:

“Biometrics are a huge opportunity for the payments industry to combat the increasing risk of card not present fraud. However, it’s not surprising that there is reluctance among consumers to use biometrics as a form of payment authentication when passwords and PINs have been the central pillar of financial data security for at least 20 years. News headlines are also dominated with fraud and hacking scandals so the public are aware of the risks involved when it comes to adopting new services. To overcome this, consumer education is imperative and with SCA coming in September, consumers will need to be aware of the benefits to ensure acceptance and adoption. We’ve lived in a password-driven world for many years now and consumers aren’t fully prepared to let go of what they know.”

Despite consumer concerns over biometric transactions, adoption continues to grow with more than half (54%) of UK consumers having used biometrics to make a payment.

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.