Two thirds of shoppers happy with fingerprint biometrics
24 October 2017 14:51 GMT

A new survey of shoppers has found that the overwhelming majority are open to fingerprint authenticated purchases.

According to research by Worldpay, while 63% of consumers want to be able to use biometric scans to authenticate payments when shopping, 69% said they would be most open to using their fingerprints.

In the survey, almost a quarter of consumers said they would be comfortable paying for goods by facial recognition, 33% were happy to pay by iris recognition and 18% said they would feel comfortable paying by voice recognition in store.

James Frost, chief marketing officer of Worldpay, said this adoption of technology was more about consumer convenience than anything else. “Suddenly it isn’t so scary any more,” he said.

“Yes, it may be more secure, but actually if that means the purchasing experience is just that much more slick and that much quicker, then people are willing to embrace it.” 

But as technology begins to creep into the retail world, there are still some instances where consumers would prefer to interface with a person rather than an artificial intelligence (AI) or a robot.

Whereas older customers would like to pay a person at the end of a shopping experience, younger consumers are more comfortable using automated payment methods to speed up the final step of the retail experience.

Only 13% of people in the survey said they do not interact with employees in a store, 37% said they want to be able to talk to a store employee if they need something, and 35% said that if a store employee is good, they can improve the in-store experience.

A very small percentage said they do not feel shop staff are helpful or knowledgeable about products, and 10% said they would prefer to use technology for self-service.

“There is still a really critical role for store employees – we’re not going to be dealing exclusively with robots in the future,” said Frost. “People still do want to be able to speak to a human being if they have a question.”