A survey by Visa found widespread acceptance among consumers towards authenticating payments using biometrics, particularly fingerprint scanning.
The fact that the credit card giant carried out the survey gives a clue to its future intentions. Rival MasterCard has also shown an interest in this area, as have other players in payments.
The credit card giant billed the survey, which covered over 14,000 consumers in seven European markets, as “one of the largest and most comprehensive” studies into biometric-based payments.
As well as finding two-thirds (68 per cent) of respondents happy to use biometric verification, the survey reported that nearly three quarters (73 per cent) see two-factor authentication, where a biometric is used together with a mobile device, as a secure way to establish identity.
Two-factor authentication, points out the survey, involves something you have, such as a credit card or a smartphone, as well as something you are (a biometric) or something you know (PIN or password).
Biometrics is most suitable for two-factor authentication, but is less suited to being the sole form of verification because it can result in false positive or false negative results. In contrast, PINs and passwords are either correct, or incorrect.
Of the options, 53 per cent of those queried prefer fingerprint verification (click chart above to enlarge), much higher than alternative methods such as facial or voice recognition.