Security concerns are leading European consumers to embrace biometrics.

Nearly seven out of 10 respondents to a recent Unisys survey indicated that they would have more confidence in the companies they do business with, if those organizations used biometrics to authenticate their customers.

The survey also found that nearly half of consumers view biometric authentication, such as fingerprint readers or iris scanning, as an improvement over passwords or PINs—which are considered a hassle to remember.

  • More than 3,500 consumers across seven European countries took part in the study. Other findings included:
  • More than half of the consumers surveyed believe biometrics make accessing mobile devices and online services more secure;
  • Fifty-one percent of the European public trusts banks to manage their data and 45 percent trust their government, but only 12 percent of consumers trust social media companies to keep their data secure;
  • Among various biometric technologies, fingerprint scanning was the most popular (favored by 61 percent of respondents). Iris scanning came in a distant second, with 41 percent of the respondents favoring this approach.
  • On average, European consumers are prepared to wait for less than half-a-minute to sign into their devices and accounts, another favorable finding for biometric technologies, which are expected to accelerate the authentication process.

“Mobile device usage has bought biometrics to the mainstream as more people access their phones via a fingerprint reader,” notes Salvatore Sinno, Unisys’ chief security architect. “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 [its] trust in this technology.”

In today’s environment, he adds, “It makes sense for organizations to have a multi-layered approach to security [and] address new legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).”

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