Visa Survey Results Suggest Familiarity is Key to Enthusiasm for Biometric Authentication

The results of a Visa-commissioned survey suggest that Canadians’ familiarity with biometric authentication is leading to warming attitudes toward the technology.

Visa Survey Results Suggest Familiarity is Key to Enthusiasm for Biometric AuthenticationConducted by AYTM Market Research, the study polled a thousand Canadian adults toward the end of last autumn. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they were most familiar with fingerprint recognition, and a quarter said they use it regularly. Sixty-nine percent expressed interest in fingerprint-based authentication, and 61 percent reported being interested in using the technology for payments.

So is it fair to say Canadians are now firmly onboard with biometrics? Not quite. Less than half of all respondents expressed interest in using other modalities such as eye scanning and facial recognition for authentication – in fact only 34 percent were interested in the latter. The disparity suggests that it’s familiarity that makes consumers comfortable with biometric technology, with fingerprint scanners now widespread across newer smartphones, while facial recognition and iris scanning systems are far less common.

Still, the survey results also point to a broader skepticism about biometric authentication, with only 44 percent of respondents ready to agree that the technology is more secure than passwords and PINs. Part of the issue here could have to do with how biometric data is stored, with 44 percent of respondents expressing concern about security breaches of biometric credentials. Nevertheless, right now the majority of Canadians appear to be interested in biometric authentication via fingerprint scanning, and as other modalities become more popular, it appears Canadians are likely to warm up to biometric technology more broadly.