Majority of Europeans ‘trust organisations using biometrics more’
05 December 2017 15:49 GMT

Nearly seven in 10 Europeans (68 percent) said they would trust organisations more if they were to use biometrics for authentication, according to a new Unisys survey.

The survey also found that tech-savvy consumers are ready for biometric authentication, such as fingerprint readers or iris scanning, in replacement of passwords or PINs – with half of respondents saying not having to remember passwords is a major benefit of the technology.

With responses from more than 3,500 consumers across seven countries in Europe, the Unisys survey asked consumers their opinion on biometric authentication for access to their online accounts and levels of trust in organisations that manage and store their personal data. Other top findings from the survey included:

  • Consumers cited security as the key driver for adopting biometrics, with 52 percent believing it to be a more secure way of accessing devices and services;
  • 63 percent believe biometrics to be more secure than traditional PIN and password methods, with 57 percent of those surveyed saying fingerprint scanning is the most secure form of authentication;
  • Ditching passwords was found to be appealing. Half thought biometrics would help avoid having to remember passwords, and 9 percent believe using biometrics to be “more fun” than other authentication methods;
  • Of the types of organisations that hold online accounts for the public, 51 percent trust banks to manage data and provide a seamless experience, and 45 percent put their trust in government to do the same. By comparison, just 12 percent of consumers put their trust in social media companies;
  • Fingerprint scanning was found to be the authentication method citizens would be most happy using (61 percent) – and the second favourite method was iris scanning, with 41 percent of respondents registering their support;
  • The average time a European consumer is prepared to wait for an online sign-in process is 25.5 seconds, which is promising for biometrics as a technology that will speed up the authentication process.

Salvatore Sinno, Global Chief Security Architect, Unisys, commented: “We are seeing the need for more than just the traditional password and PIN as the sole method of authentication. Mobile device usage has bought biometrics to the mainstream as more people access their phones via a fingerprint reader. With the arrival of the iPhone X, facial recognition will most likely become just as commonplace. It’s good to see the public across Europe putting trust in this technology. In today’s environment it makes sense for organisations to have a multi-layered approach to security, to address new legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and reassure the public and build trust between consumers and service providers.”