Technophobia is Key Obstacle to Adoption of Biometric Authentication: HSBC

The biggest obstacle to mainstream adoption of advanced new FinTech is a lack of understanding on the part of the customer, suggests HSBC in a new research report. Entitled Trust in Technology, the report is based on surveys of a little over 12,000 respondents across Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Singapore, the UAE, the UK, and the US.

Technophobia is Key Obstacle to Adoption of Biometric Authentication: HSBCThe report notes some contradicting attitudes among respondents. While 87 percent said that the bank’s protection of their personal data is as important as its protection of their money, only 21 percent reported using fingerprint recognition instead of a password, despite its advantages over always prevalent weak passwords. And while 14 percent said they would trust a “humanoid robot” to perform heart surgery, only seven percent said they would trust any kind of robot or AI assistant to open a bank account.

Perhaps more pertinent to HSBC’s concerns, only six percent of respondents are currently enrolled in its voice recognition service for its call-in centers, with 24 percent asserting that they “have not heard of, or do not know what voice activation technology is,” according to report summary from HSBC. That presents a serious issue for HSBC in the wake of the BBC’s claims to have spoofed its voice authentication system when a non-identical twin brother of a BBC reporter mimicked his voice to gain access to his account. While that took several attempts, and most bank customers don’t have twin brothers intent on defrauding them, the matter gained some notoriety in the press.

HSBC says that its Trust in Technology report indicates that when researchers provided “a very simple explanation of how voice recognition works, ‘trust in biometrics’ rose from 45% to 51%.” That suggests that the understanding obstacle can be overcome, and to everyone’s benefit.